Bloomberg helps Bronx fight domestic violence

Ice cream and domestic violence prevention aren’t usually two things that go together.

But ice cream vendors will now be helping to fight domestic violence in the borough by bringing a message to parks and playgrounds: help is available.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, and Delicioso Coco Helado have teamed up in a partnership announced on Friday, August 13. They will affix posters in English and Spanish to 50 Delicioso Coco carts emphasizing that everyone has the right to a healthy relationship.

Vendors will carry that message to wherever they go this summer, and will be specially trained to steer victims of domestic violence toward helpful resources.

Office to Combat Domestic Violence commissioner Yolanda Jimenez held a press conference to announce the effort in the Delicioso Coco Helado warehouse at 849 St. Ann’s Avenue. Joining Jimenez were: Bronx Chamber of Commerce CEO Lenny Caro; Sophia Thiebaud, vice president operations for Delicioso Coco Helado and Alfredo Thiebaud, president and owner; Geri Sciortino from the Bronx Design Group, who donated the printing of the stickers for the campaign; David Samburg from Verizon Wireless, which sponsors a HopeLine to help victims of domestic violence; and representatives from the borough president’s office and from Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

“By partnering with local businesses,” Jimenez said, “we are making sure that our message is delivered to every neighborhood in New York City. We are asking that all businesses join this effort to help save lives.”

Jimenez praised the Bronx Chamber of Commerce’s continuously supported efforts to combat domestic violence, and she stressed that the group is doing all it can to raise awareness about the subject. She stressed that the chamber has held numerous events to raise awareness and has always been there.

Caro said that it is important to remember domestic violence occurs not just at home, but can also affect the workplace.

“The Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the effect of domestic violence on jobs and business,” Caro said.

The posters, cards, and stickers have already been placed throughout the city in a number of different places. All materials encourage people to call 3-1-1 for the New York City Domestic Violence Help Line, or 9-1-1 in an emergency.

“Especially in the Hispanic community, domestic violence is a major concern,” Alfredo Thiebaud said. “The only way to help the Latino community is to educate the people about domestic violence.”

The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence also recently opened a Family Resource Center at 198 E. 161st Street that is meant to be a “one-stop shop” for victims of domestic violence.

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