It was created by six community-based organizations, including Los Sures, St. Nicks Alliance and Nuestros Ninos. Among the founders was Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, a survivor of domestic violence.
Twenty years later, the coalition remains an active nonprofit agency. According to Joselyn De Leon, a senior case manager at the organization, her caseload has never fallen below 35 per month.
“We notice that there’s a lot of domestic violence going on in the community because most of our clients are from the area,” she said.
North Brooklyn Coalition provides a variety of services to victims, including case management, therapy, support groups, individual counseling and community outreach.
Once a month, the coalition partners with Sanctuary for Families, which sends a legal team to help clients file for things like orders of protection, custody or divorce.
De Leon said the #MeToo movement has definitely caused a spike in their intakes.
“I believe the #MeToo movement is a great movement, it has encouraged people to speak out,” she said. “Now, we’re having these conversations.
“When they think about domestic violence or sexual assault before, it would be a private or family problem,” she added. “Now people are realizing it’s a community problem. I think that’s a good approach.”
If bystanders see someone in need of help, De Leon said they should speak out. She noticed that many people don’t because they just don’t want to get involved.
“Sometimes turning a blind eye to the situation, you’re basically adding more to it,” she said.
She also urged bystanders to listen and not judge those who are in those situations.
“When someone’s in an abusive relationship, it’s very difficult for them to leave,” she said.