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Will the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Get it Together for NYC Survivor of Abuse?

Posted Feb 05 2010 12:00am

A few months ago I wrote a post about a NYC victim of domestic violence that was initially ignored by the NCADV after inquiring about free plastic surgery and dental work after a history of abuse. The NCADV offers free dental and facial reconstruction on their website through a program called "Face to Face", a program they are affiliated with, not a program they directly fund. Months ago I wrote about this victim, Lily in NYC, who was trying to get the attention of this Coalition, but wasn't succeeding. After I featured an article about the NCADV ignoring this victim, they quickly responded to Lily and helped her with her application for surgery. In January, Lily had her first appointment with a doctor from the Face to Face Program, and had her first laser session. Since January, I have been getting updates on Lily's case, and have been making sure the NCADV doesn't forget about her case and continuously follows up with her. Since November, Lily has been patiently waiting for the NCADV to set her up with a dentist and plastic surgeon, and, as far as I know, no one from the NCADV has been following up with this victim. She is unsure if she will ever get the medical treatment she deserves and was promised, and is confused as to why the NCADV doesn't follow up or have any answers for her at this time. In May, Lily will be appearing on Aqui y Ahora as a survivor of domestic abuse that is getting assistance from the NCADV for severe scarring due to domestic violence. Although Lily is grateful for the opportunity to speak about domestic violence on this TV show, she is humiliated because the NCADV doesn't follow up with her and she is unaware if she will be done with or even get the surgeries in time for the TV program.

It is so sad to watch so many victims and survivors of domestic abuse reach out to the many Domestic Violence Coalitions, shelters and state agencies with hope that these organizations will follow through and provide the relief they claim to offer. Unfortunately, as survivors and victims, we must remember that if we want to receive any sort of help from these corporations, we need to hound, email, phone, and bother these advocates continuously until they realize we are not going away and we demand attention. It shouldn't work this way, but it does. Being quiet, patiently waiting, and being passive doesn't work if you are a battered woman seeking real assistance. My advice to any woman seeking assistance and support from any Coalition, state agency, or shelter, is to SPEAK UP, SPEAK UP and then SPEAK UP again. We must remember, these people have jobs because of us and their mission is supposed to be ending violence against women, so make sure you get what you need out of them.
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