CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (PIX11) — It was a room filled with domestic violence survivors and thrivers who wanted to send one clear message that there is help out there.

“Love should never hurt,” that’s what New York City Council Member Darlene Mealy said at the beginning of this workshop she organized during domestic violence awareness month is extremely personal.

At age 12, the politician’s family moved from Detroit to Brooklyn because, she said, her father was beating her mother.

That’s why this 59-year-old council member said she has made domestic violence her number one issue.

“One time, my father came back, and I saw him. I looked out the window, and I saw him beating my mother, and that was my first introduction to domestic violence,” Mealy told PIX11 News.

There are more than 10,000 cases of domestic violence each year handled by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

The head of the gender-based violence division joined this panel discussion.

“We are the lead partner in the Family Justice Center,” said Michelle Kaminsky, chief of gender-based violence in the district attorney’s office. “If it is a walk-in center where you can talk to people. No one has to know you’re there.”

Many in attendance were victims of domestic violence themselves, like Doreen Jones.

“He dragged me down the hallway of my building. I had Bruce read when he said he was gonna put a bullet in my head. I knew I had to get out of here, and that’s what made me go to the police,” Jones told PIX11 News.

Members of the NYPD also joined in the panel discussion.

“We like to do some outreach to reach the people that may have something going on in their home that they haven’t called 911 for,” Sgt. Christopher Miron, NYPD domestic violence, told PIX11 News.

There are NYC Family Justice Centers in all five boroughs.

Bronx: (718) 508-1220
Brooklyn: (718) 250-5113
Manhattan: (212) 602-2800
Queens: (718) 575-4545
Staten Island: (718) 697-4300

Call or walk into any New York City family Center Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is also an evening and weekend call on the city’s 24-hour domestic violence hotline: 800-621-HOPE (4673).

You can also visit the NYC Hope website.