By Carol Corden, Executive Director
Recently, Governor Cuomo released the final report of the COVID-19 Domestic Violence Task Force, comprised of 27 national experts in domestic violence. The report set out to reimagine a more survivor-centered and culturally competent world for domestic violence survivors seeking services.
The Task Force identified solutions that place the needs of domestic violence survivors front and center. The report recommendations, all of which have been adopted by the Governor, were guided by three principles – mobile advocacy, flexible funding, and housing choice.
Mobile technology offers survivors the ability to access services anytime from wherever they happen to be. One Task Force recommendation permanently incorporates a chat and text component into the NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline.
Flexible funds address a range of essential needs as determined by the survivor that might present barriers to safety and housing stability, such as rent, safety measures, debt or car repair expenses. It is a low-cost solution that can solve immediate challenges to housing stability or safety. Finally, housing choice supports “housing solutions beyond shelter” by developing a system of housing navigators who can assist survivors to identify safe housing options. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the limitations of our responses to domestic violence and homelessness. It is encouraging to see that the State is prioritizing solutions that are flexible and incorporate the needs and lived experience of survivors. Click here to read the full report and recommendations.