City strengthens support system for City workers experiencing domestic and gender-based violence
Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed Executive Order 85 to enhance trauma-informed support for City employees experiencing domestic and gender-based violence (DV/GBV) as part of the City’s commitment to a healthy and safe workplace that prioritizes employee wellbeing and access to mental health support.
“Everyone deserves to be safe and supported, both at work and in their personal lives,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re ensuring members of our workforce know they always have a place to turn, people to confide in, and the resources they need to feel protected and empowered. Domestic and gender-based violence has no place in our workplaces, our homes, or our city.”
“Given New York City’s leadership in offering support for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, it is with great pride that we announce even more support for our own workforce,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “The new workplace policy includes all forms of violence – from intimate partner violence to elder abuse and more. Domestic violence is a devastating and widespread problem, and no one working for New York City has to feel alone, unseen, or without resources.”
The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) will develop the “Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Workplace Policy” and related trainings, with the support of Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence, a national resource center operated by Futures Without Violence. The Workplace Policy will be adopted by all agencies and will standardize survivor-centered and trauma-informed responses for employees experiencing domestic and gender-based violence in the workplace or in their personal lives. The policy provides employees with a point of contact at every agency who can provide confidential support and direct connection to ENDGBV and the City’s resources for survivors.
New York City is the first municipality in New York State to adopt a Workplace Policy that includes all forms of domestic and gender-based violence. Domestic and gender-based violence includes intimate partner violence, family violence, elder abuse, sexual violence (which can include sexual harassment), stalking, and human trafficking. ENDGBV’s resources for help include the NYC Family Justice Centers, the NYC Hope (nyc.gov/NYCHOPE) online resource directory and New York City’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-621-4673.) The NYC Family Justice Centers are co‐located multidisciplinary service centers providing assistance with immediate safety planning, shelter assistance and vital social services, civil legal, and criminal justice assistance for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and their children—all under one roof. In addition, the New York City Human Rights Law offers broad protections against sexual harassment in employment. Resources on rights, obligations, and how to report can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/
“The city must be a model for employers all over the state and nation, in supporting survivors of domestic and gender-based violence in its workforce,” said New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog. “We are committed to connecting our own staff with critical resources like immediate safety planning, shelter assistance and vital social services, civil legal, and criminal justice assistance.”
“The health and wellbeing of the City’s workforce is a top priority,” said the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel. “Domestic and gender-based violence survivors often suffer silently and fear seeking out crucial help and safety. Enhancing trauma-informed support for City employees experiencing domestic and gender-based violence lets our employees know they are never alone, and help is always here for them through access to a wide range of City resources.”
“We are proud to be a city leading the way and strengthening our support for staff who are survivors of domestic or gender-based violence,” said Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “These issues affect every one of us, and ensuring that City employees can get connected with the support, resources, and information they need to stay safe is vital to a safer city for all New Yorkers.”
“All New Yorkers, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background have the right to live free from violence in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities,” said Executive Director of the New York City Commission on Gender Equity Jacqueline M. Ebanks. “I applaud the leadership of Commissioner Noel and ENDGBV for this new initiative, which strengthens the City’s mission to be a model employer, ensuring the safety and well-being of its 325,000-person workforce.”
“In New York City, we protect and support survivors of domestic and gender-based violence,” said Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights Annabel Palma. “The New York City Human Rights Law protects New Yorkers against discrimination at work and at home when they experience such violence. This executive order illustrates the city’s commitment to survivors by ensuring trauma-informed resources are available to the city’s workforce and offering clear pathways for reporting. No one should fear getting help when they need it, and this policy provides more support for survivors.”
“"Holistic, accessible, and equitable policies are a key part of an effective workplace prevention and response program,” said Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski, Program Director of Economic Justice and Workforce Initiatives at Futures Without Violence. “We spend most of our waking hours at work, especially now for those who must work from home because of the pandemic. New York City should be commended for taking action to ensure that its workplaces center safety and support through this comprehensive gender-based violence policy. We hope that others follow its lead.”