The Violence Intervention and Treatment Program has served patients at the hospital since 2009, offering free counseling for patients in the community.
According to the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, nearly one in four women in the U.S. reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life. Almost half the women murdered in New York State are killed by their intimate partner.
Indira Parmar, Wyckoff’s assistant vice president of patient care coordination, said the number one priority at the hospital is to let the community know there is help available.
“Being aware of the problem is the first step to doing something about it,” Parmar said.
Parmar said the hospital’s program, which currently serves nearly 500 people, has specialists who are fluent in Spanish, English and a number of Indian languages.
“It’s all about women’s safety and getting the message out that help is here,” she said. “We want to help them get the financial assistance they need, we accompany them to the courts and we put them in our program for ongoing services.”
Program director Karina Cruz-Rodriguez said they plan to reach out to as much of the community as they can.
“By wearing purple, the color chosen to symbolize the fight against domestic violence, we are calling attention to a problem that crosses ethnic, economic and social lines,” Cruz-Rodriguez said. “That is very important since domestic violence affects us all; women, men and children.”
The hospital also held a Quilt for Hope community event on Oct. 2 to bring awareness to the epidemic.