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Deaths of 3-month-old Genevieve Comager, and Jalaeyah Eason, 6, highlight efforts to combat domestic violence in the Bronx

Bronx groups work to fight domestic violence
Bronx groups work to fight domestic violence 02:31

NEW YORK -- Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson issued a plea on Thursday, following the deaths of two small children in the borough over the last week.

"We have in one week in the Bronx two children that are no longer here because of some sort of violence," Gibson said.

In the span of just two days, 3-month-old Genevieve Comager and 6-year-old Jalaeyah Eason were found lifeless in the Bronx. Both little girls were victims at the hands of their parents, according to prosecutors.

READ MORE6-year-old Jelayah Eason's death prompts call from Bronx community: "If you see something, say something"

They say Genevieve was shaken to death by her father and placed in a garbage bag that was later disposed in the woods, while Jalaeyah was found bruised and unresponsive in her mother's apartment.

"It just breaks your heart that any parent would resort to that level," Gibson said.

While both tragedies have shaken Bronx communities, numbers show incidents like these are all too common.

Data shows the Bronx had the highest rate of domestic violence homicides than any other borough from 2010 to 2020.

"In order to address the trauma, we want them to feel comfortable," said Catherina Mykytiuk, the program director at Changing Futures Program at Kingsbridge Heights Community Center.

With high rates of violence in homes in the borough, community organizations are responding to the demands.

Trauma therapy programs like Changing Futures at Kingsbridge Community Center offers non-traditional approaches like art and gardening. It's a free long-term treatment options for kids in the community. A person named Mykytiuk said they treat about 200 childcare between the ages of 3-18 every month.

"Obviously, they've been through something that maybe some of their peers haven't, so learning skills to address any triggers but really the goal for them is to just be children," Mykytiuk said.

Meanwhile, in Mott Haven, with the demand so high for help, Barrier Free Living also assists all domestic violence survivors relocation into permanent housing.

"Barrier Free Living is a domestic violence organization for people with disabilities," said CEO Cynthia Amodeo.

It offers occupational therapy to survivors, in addition to programing for children.

"So we can't assist a family with just one perspective. We need to assist the entire family," said Amodeo.

Both programs say to help those who endure violence, there needs to be more access and knowledge of the resources that exist in the community.

"We have to make the system more simple and straight forward," Gibson said.

Gibson added her office is adamant about addressing the influx in incidents with organizations. She says help exists in the borough, but the stigma around getting help needs to change in order for families to seek it out.

"Never feel you have no options because there is always a choice," Gibson said.

For more information on Barrier Free Living and the Changing Futures Program at Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, click the links.

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