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NYLAG Testifies About Domestic Violence Services Amid COVID-19

Senior Supervising Attorney Tuozhi Lorna Zhen testified before the New York City Committee on Public Safety and the Committee on Women and Gender Equity, advocating for the support of the City Council and the Mayor’s Administration in maintaining and increasing services for domestic violence. Below is an excerpt from the testimony:

“Even after physical assaults and injuries at home, the pandemic continues to fuel fears that chill reporting. Survivors are scared to seek medical treatment at hospitals for fear of exposing themselves and their families to COVID-19. Abusers use news of rampant coronavirus outbreaks in the city’s jails to guilt survivors into not calling the police. The rise in racism against Asian-Americans and increasing anti-immigrant sentiment is another tool for abusers to use to further intimidate survivors, creating growing anxiety and feelings of dependency for survivors who rely on their partners for economic support and immigration status. And while “tele-health” or remote medical and therapeutic services are being touted as a safe alternative, this does not take into account those survivors residing with their abusers, and presumes universal access to phone and internet service.”

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