Leaders Demanding Resignation or Removal

State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator David Valesky
State Senator Neil Breslin
State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer
State Senator Daniel Aubertine
State Senator Brian X. Foley
State Senator Martin Golden
State Senator Frank Padavan
State Senator Catharine Young
State Senator Betty Little
State Senator Jeff Klein
State Senator Bill Perkins
State Senator Thomas Duane
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
State Senator Jim Seward
State Senator Craig Johnson
State Senator Tom Libous
State Senator Daniel Squardon
State Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington
State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther
State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte
State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat
State Assemblywoman Vivian Cook
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
US Senator Charles Schumer
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Comptroller Bill Thompson
Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum
Congressman Joseph Crowley
Congressman Eric Massa
Congressman John Hall
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
NYS Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs
City Council Member Eric Gioia
City Council Member Bill deBlasio
City Council Member Annabel Palma
City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
City Council Member John Liu
Dan Halloran, City Council candidate
District Leader Marc Landis
District Leader John Smyth
District Leader Keith Lilly
District Leader Cordell Cleare
Democratic Party of Queens County
National Organization for Women, New York State
NARAL Pro-Choice New York
The New Agenda
Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee
NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault
New York State Young Democrats
National Women's Political Caucus, NY State
New York Post
New York Daily News
Albany Times Union Newspaper
Watertown Daily Times Newspaper
The Chief, Civil Employee's Weekly News
The Buffalo News
Queens Courier
New York Times
Journal News of Lower Hudson Valley
Queens Chronicle
Oneonta Daily Star
Troy Record
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Queens Courier: There Should Be Public Outrage

(a resident of Elmhurst, which is located within Monserrate's district)

Regardless of the verdict, there should be public outrage.

Since news of State Senator Hiram Monserrate’s assault first hit the headlines, details of the incident have been exposed in newspapers nationwide, accompanied by video evidence and reports from witnesses.

Although not convicted of felony assault, any charge of domestic violence should be followed by public outrage, but in the case of Monserrate there has been silence instead.

The lack of expressed indignation from Monserrate’s fellow politicians and constituents is unacceptable because domestic violence affects the entire community. Ample statistics from the National Center against Domestic Violence show the frequency and widespread occurrence of domestic violence.

According to the Center, in 2006 there were more than 50,000 reported cases in New York State alone. Even more alarming, New York City police intervened in 234,988 domestic violence calls in 2008, an average of 600 incidents a day. Also, in 2008, 72,463 home visits were conducted by the police department’s domestic violence unit, a 93 percent increase since 2002.

The impact of violence against intimate partners occurs through direct exposure, but the community is also affected by costs for victim services and reduced capacity in the workplace. The Center for Disease Control estimated the cost of domestic violence at $8.3 billion in 2003. This includes costs for medical and mental healthcare, as well as the victim loss in productivity resulting from physical and psychological injuries.

Ultimately, the community is impacted when represented by a leader with questionable judgment and an inability to resolve conflicts peacefully. These character deficiencies displace trust for representatives to act diligently on behalf of the community they are representing. It also brings up questions about their effectiveness working in a forum where debates, disputes and conflicts occur on a regular basis.

There are those that will note Monserrate’s charge is merely a misdemeanor assault and not a felony, and others that will say we have already committed sufficient resources to domestic violence awareness and victim services. These people will say that a public response condemning the Senator’s assault is overkill.

However, the lack of outrage over Monserrate’s assault shows that while many gains have been made in raising awareness about domestic violence, the subject is still viewed as a private matter not warranting public attention, and this view is simply unacceptable.

Now, is the perfect time to express our indignation with domestic violence – President Barack Obama proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, noting the “devastating impact” of this type of violence on individuals and the community.

So, I challenge you to consider the statistic that one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Public condemnation of domestic violence is not only vital to protect and support victims but also acts as a tool for prevention. Domestic violence is a despicable and unacceptable crime, that shouldn’t be accompanied by silence.

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