2011-06-24 / Top Stories

Domestic Violence Pushing Up Felony Numbers

Far Rockaway Community Impacted By Family Assaults
By Miriam Rosenberg

Officers Christine Rodeschin, left, and Melissa Florio speak to residents about their jobs – helping domestic violence victims. Officers Christine Rodeschin, left, and Melissa Florio speak to residents about their jobs – helping domestic violence victims. Felony assaults in the 101 Precinct are on the rise and a main factor pushing that statistic upward is domestic violence. In the latest NYPD CompStat reports for the precinct, felony assaults are up 14 percent compared to the same time last year. That’s 81 complaints this year, as opposed to 71 last year.

“Domestic violence crime is driving our felony assaults,” said Deputy Inspector Michael Liperti, the commanding officer of the 101 Precinct, at the June 15 Precinct Community Council meeting.

Officers from the precinct’s Domestic Violence unit spoke to community members during the May Community Council meeting. Part of their job is to try to stop a situation before things gets out of hand.

Police Officer Melissa Florio says that she often spends hours on the phone to stop the domestic violence or to come to some resolution with those involved.

She adds that spending the time on the phone to resolve the problem is better that showing up in the aftermath of an assault, wondering what she could have done to resolve the situation before it escalated.

“We just want everyone to know that you can come to us and reach out to us anytime you need to,” says Florio. “That is why we are here. We’re here for more than just arresting people [after an assault].”

She added that there are many things the precinct can provide that are unknown to those in domestic violence situations.

“We know how to help you in lots of situations,” she said. “If somebody changes your locks, if you’re in fear of your life, where the advocacy groups are, what happens if your job is giving you a hard time and wants to fire you. We know about all that.”

The officers added that domestic violence can be physical or verbal. It can range from hitting, slapping or kicking to the victim’s abuser behaving in a possessive way, using intimidation or manipulation to control the victim or the victim’s children or humiliating or embarrassing the victim in front of others.

More information on domestic violence can be found on the New York City Police website at http://www.- nyc.gov/html/ nypd/html/crime_ prevention/domestic_ violence.shtml. Look at the bottom of the page to click on specific topics on the issue.

To contact a domestic violence officer at the 101 Precinct, the direct number is 718-868-3444. If they are not in, leave a message on the answering machine. No one besides the officers in the unit will hear it. All information is confidential.

“We want you guys to be comfortable with us so that, hopefully, we can try to stop domestic violence,” said Rodeschin.

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