By Roslyn Bacon
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In a recent article published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, State Senator Eric Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President-elect, said the three words few people in his position will utter—“…violence against women.” It is not often that clergy, educators and other elected officials who speak out against youth crime or police misconduct as safety concerns, include and specify domestic violence. Yaay, for our new Borough President! As we say in Brooklyn, “Now THAT’S what I’m tawkin’ ‘bout!”
Families entrapped by domestic violence can be assured that every effort will be employed by the new Borough President to break the silence and to break the cycle of what the American Medical Association calls America’s fastest growing, silent epidemic. No one could be happier than I with the successful conclusion to his political campaign. As founder and executive director of Jonah Village, a Brooklyn-based youth leadership organization dedicated to the prevention of intimate partner violence, I have had the good fortune to experience Senator Adams’ fervent advocacy on behalf of those in abusive relationships. My experience has been that without exception, Senator Adams has been on the front line in raising awareness and promoting prevention. Senator Adams “gets it”! He walks the talk.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene consistently reports Brooklyn as the borough where the incidence of domestic violence homicide is highest among Black women. Latinas are second. This unfortunate reality is juxtaposed to Brooklyn’s burgeoning popularity and booming real estate prices. The sad fact is that though the numbers are highest for Black and brown women, domestic violence leaves no group behind. Continuing his call for One Brooklyn, Senator Adams will address intimate partner violence from every ethnic and cultural perspective, including elder abuse and same sex abuse. He will set a laser on the needs of differently abled people and people with mental health challenges, as well as those whose immigration status exacerbates their violent living conditions.
Ending domestic violence begins with community awareness and that is Jonah Village’s focus; particularly around the issue of teen dating violence prevention. Senator Adams has worked tirelessly to enhance the lives and opportunities of youth and his ascendancy to the Borough’s top office will serve to strengthen existing projects and programs for youth.
Brooklyn has an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the national debate about women’s issues and I am excited to see the ways in which our new Borough President will contribute to that debate. It will be my joy to employ the appellation, “Mr. President”!
“I can’t wait to get started,” he said, and neither can I.
Roslyn Bacon is the founder and executive director of Jonah Village, a Brooklyn-based youth leadership organization dedicated to the prevention of intimate partner violence.