Despite the fact that incidents of domestic violence have increased by more than 50 percent in the 106th Precinct in the past year, police still say victims are underreporting the crimes.
Citywide last year, the NYPD responded to more than 240,000 calls of domestic violence, said Sergeant Noreen Lazarus.
“But there are still so many occurrences and incidents that are not being reported,” she added.
The 106th Precinct joined the 102 on Thursday to conduct a domestic violence seminar as part of a series of community outreach initiatives intended to ultimately help decrease the crime.
A very diverse population makes up south Queens, cops said, and Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, 102nd Precinct Commanding Officer, said local police are “trying to break down that cultural barrier” so anyone can feel comfortable reporting an incident.
“We’re not interested in your immigration status. What we care about is you,” said Sergeant Diane Silverstein.
Alexandra Patino from the Family Justice Center of Queens said more than half of her clientele is “foreign born.” She works with them regarding child and/or spousal support, helping to separate domestic violence victims from dangerous situations.
“Some are tied to people out of fear of deportation. We don’t want people to continue to be victimized out of fear of deportation,” she said.
Patino and the Family Justice Center can also help victims in getting their green cards.
In the coming weeks, the precincts will be continuing to spread domestic violence awareness by visiting local schools, PTA meetings, men’s groups and more.
“We understand the situation can become very emotional,” Silverstein said. “We are about everybody being safe and everybody obeying the law.”