Gun control: How NY plans to take firearms away from domestic abusers

Ladies Night Out at Red Siren

What’s better than a fun night of shopping? A night of shopping that also supports a worthwhile cause and on April 12, 2018 from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm, the Red Siren will host a Ladies Night Out to benefit the Family Justice Center.

Red Siren, located at 976 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo is a classic and preppy boutique for women and men carrying 30+ brands of apparel, jewelry, gifts and custom Buffalo items. Ladies Night Out will not only give shoppers 10% off of all purchases that evening, but will also include a personal shopper, champagne, and light bites. Red Siren will also donate 10% of the evening’s sales to the Family Justice Center.

So, if you are looking for a fun evening of shopping at a chic boutique, please stop out to the Red Siren and join in the fun.

Food Glorious Food!

Recently, the Family Justice Center received an offer we could not refuse. David Nuzzo, friend and supporter of the Center and a gifted chef, will be donating his culinary talents for the benefit of our clients.

With the assistance of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and funding from the William Hein Company, Dave will be cooking and freezing homemade gourmet meals that clients can take home with them. Dave has been working on an initial menu that includes such delicious entrees as baked eggplant parmesan, chicken and shrimp enchiladas, and spinach and mushroom lasagna. These delectable meals, along with soups and cookies, will be available at each of the Family Justice Center’s offices.

While the Family Justice Center has had an on-site food pantry to assist clients, David’s meals offer something even better – a pre-prepared hot meal that are sure to not only fill the stomachs, but also warm the hearts of our clients. We cannot thank Dave and his supporters enough for choosing to share their time and talent to support domestic violence victims and help them meet some of their most basic needs.

Allstate Foundation Funds Economic Empowerment Workshops

Domestic violence takes many forms, including financial abuse. Many victims feel trapped in the relationship because they have no access to the family finances and/or have not been allowed to earn their own income. Others have had their credit intentionally ruined by their abusers leaving them to believe that they are unable to start over on their own. One of the most effective means of control over a victim is restricting their financial independence.

The Allstate Foundation has recently provided the Family Justice Center with funding to help empower victims to re-gain their financial independence. In a partnership with Child & Family Services – Haven House and Key Bank, the Family Justice Center will be offering free Financial Empowerment Workshops to educate clients on the building blocks for financial independence. The workshops, led by Key Bank representatives, will cover such issues as understanding your credit score and how to improve your score, budgeting, establishing and managing bank accounts, and more.

Upon completion of the workshop, interested participants can then continue the Financial Empowerment program with one on one counseling provided by Haven House’s Economic Empowerment Specialist. In addition, attendees can also choose to work with the representatives at Key Bank to work on establishing their own bank accounts, monitoring their credit, discussing home buying options, and addressing any other on-going financial issues and goals.

The Workshops will be offered several times a year at no cost to the attendees. Our next workshop will be taking place on April 12, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the Family Justice Center’s Buffalo Office located at 438 Main Street, Buffalo. If you, or anyone you know, would like to attend, please just contact Tiffany Pavone at tpavone@fjcsafe.org or 558-7233 to register.

National Domestic Violence Hotline “Pictures” PSA

Check out Day One’s new short film

Did you know that 1 in 3 teens reports experiencing some kind of abuse in their romantic relationships?

Learn more: www.dayoneny.org

Governor Cuomo Seeks to Remove Firearms from Perpetrators

Last month, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the first proposal of the 2018 State of the State: remove all firearms from those who commit domestic violence crimes. Given the inextricable link between domestic violence and lethal gun violence, this legislation will require all domestic violence crime convictions, including misdemeanors, to result in the immediate removal of all fire arms and will add measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those who commit domestic violence with the goal of preventing additional tragedies.

The Governor’s proposal seeks to close loop holes that currently exist in our state laws, including prohibiting the possession of firearms for individuals convicted of any domestic violence offense.  Currently NY law only prohibits possession of firearms of those convicted of felonies or “serious offenses.”  This excludes certain misdemeanor offenses like strangulation and assault and battery.  Cuomo’s proposed legislation will include all domestic violence misdemeanors.

The Governor is also looking to close the loophole that currently exists with the surrender of firearms when an order of protection is issued.  Currently, New York State requires surrender of hand guns for either (1) an order of protection issued by a judge or (2) a firearm license suspension/revocation due to a felony or “serious” offense conviction or a mental health disqualification by a health professional.  However, this surrender does not always apply to long guns, such as rifles and shotguns.  To correct this loophole, Governor Cuomo will be proposing legislation to apply the same surrender procedures to long guns.

Lastly, the Governor is looking to mandate the surrender of firearms when an order of protection is issued.  Currently, judges issue orders of protection in domestic violence cases after an individual is arrested, but before they are convicted.  These orders result in the suspension of firearm licenses.  However, these orders are issued at the judges’ discretion and may not be occur in every domestic violence case.  To ensure consistency, the State proposes legislation requiring that all judges mandate the surrender of all firearms – hand guns and long guns – and suspend any firearm license until the case is resolved.

Our Executive Director, Mary Murphy, was asked about this proposed legislation back in December by Spectrum News.  Hear Mary’s comments as well as learn more about the Governor’s proposal by watching the video on Spectrum News here.

M&T Bank Gives the FJC a New Look

M&T Bank has been a long-time friend and supporter of the Family Justice Center, sponsoring events, supporting our satellite initiatives, and helping us maintain our vital services.  In addition to all their past support, just a few months ago M&T helped give the Center a fresh look by donating desk, chairs, board room tables, storage units and more from their M&T Corporate Reuse Center.

Karen Reinlander, Space Planner for M&T’s Corporate Services, donated her time and talent and truly turned the Family Justice Center’s administrative area into impressive, professional office space that would rival any Fortune 500 company.  Karen spent many hours reviewing with staff the needs of the agency and finding the right furniture in M&T’s stock to meet those needs.  She also coordinated the delivery of all the new furniture as well as the removal of the old.

Karen Reinlander was truly an angel.  She was determined to give the agency the professional environment she felt it deserved and she absolutely delivered.  Thank you Karen and thank you to all of our friends at M&T Bank who do so much to help domestic violence victims in our community.

Garman Family Foundation Funds New Partnership

The Buffalo-based Garman Family Foundation recently awarded the Family Justice Center a $25,000 grant to further develop the partnership between the Center and the UB School of Law’s Women’s Rights & Family Violence Clinic, which provides comprehensive services to clients, mostly women, experiencing intimate partner violence.

In the Domestic Violence High Risk Collaboration, says clinic director Judith Olin ’85, students will work directly with Family Justice Center clients who are identified as being at the highest risk for serious, even lethal, violence. “We will address legal issues that may be stopping them from leaving the situation,” says Olin, including issues involving housing, employment, child support, divorce and child custody. Under her supervision, clinic students will represent clients in court on some issues and refer them to other legal services providers on others.

This new effort will enable students to serve clients in immediate danger, Olin says, and teach them how to ensure the client’s safety. Studies have shown that victims of family violence are at highest risk when they decide to leave their home situation. Advocates work with them on a safety plan, for example counseling them to find protective shelter before filing a legal case. “We need to be very careful in terms of respecting the client’s safety and making sure that our representation doesn’t expose the client to any more risk,” Olin says.

Students will meet with clients in the Family Justice Center’s Main Street facility, focusing on those who cannot afford a private attorney but earn too much to qualify for other free legal services. The grant money will also fund a student summer fellowship to carry on the work between academic years.

“The relationship we have with the clinic is critical to what we do,” says Tiffany Pavone ’02, director of operations at the Family Justice Center. “The students will fill an important gap in representing domestic violence victims who are at the highest

Job Posting – Development Coordinator

SUMMARY

The Development Coordinator (DC) for the Family Justice Center (FJC) will be accountable for a variety of fundraising activities
for the organization working hand in hand with the Executive Director, the Director of Operations and the Sustainability Team
in collaboration with the Board of Directors. This includes active charge of the FJC’s annual Voices Ending Violence breakfast
and Fall Mosaic fundraiser along with development of new initiatives and programs to generate short and long term
sustainable revenue streams.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Plan and implement a comprehensive development program including annual and planned giving programs, direct mail campaigns, strategic special events and capital campaigns as needed.
  • Conduct prospect research and maintain prospect files for individuals, corporations, foundations and groups who have the capacity and strategic alignment to support the FJC through charitable gifts and grants.
  • Along with the Executive Director, Director of Operations and Strategic Planning Team, plan and coordinate grant development activities directed to local and national foundations and agencies. Assist Director of Operations in coordinating on-going development activities aimed at local, state and national government agencies.
  • Establish and administer donor recognition programs and develop potential naming and gift recognition opportunities for various interest areas and levels of giving.
  • Maintain an ongoing donor relations program. Plan and execute donor cultivation activities and events. Develop individual donor cultivation and solicitation plans, coordinate activities for the Executive Director and Board members for securing contributions. Manage donor tracking software program.
  • Professionally represent the FJC in the community, participate in community events and actively seek ways to increase presence of the agency in the community.
  • With the Executive Director and the Public Awareness Committee, develop regular communications about agency goals, programs and services.
  • Responsible for the FJC web site, Facebook and Twitter pages and regular newsletters. Generates an annual report for external communication.
  • This is a full time position.

REQUIREMENTS/QUALIFICATIONS

  • Must possess strong public speaking
  • Exceptional written, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Minimum of 5 years development experience preferred
  • Thorough understanding of domestic violence, courts, Dept. Of Social Services and community agencies
  • Have extensive knowledge of local and statewide Domestic Violence resources
  • Highly organized and very effective time management skills
  • Able to multi-task, respond to rapidly changing situations; organize, prioritize, and perform work with minimal supervision
  • Able to work in a team and independently
  • Valid driver’s license and vehicle for transportation required

Resumes should be sent to Mary Murphy, FJC Executive Director: mmurphy@fjcsafe.org