On May 7th, Queens Defenders, in partnership with Returning Hope and Black Families Love and Unite, held a “Survivor Baby Shower” for survivors of gender-based violence who will be welcoming new babies in the coming weeks and months. Dozens of expecting mothers and their families came to the Queens Defenders Jamaica Justice Center to be celebrated and showered with gifts.


The guests of honor were treated to a day of pampering and camaraderie where they heard from guest speakers, participated in photo shoots, and enjoyed a catered lunch provided by Voices of Women and Patty’s Kitchen.  Each guest received one-on-one sessions with Shakira the Baby Nurse, doula Charline O, and they received a make-over from Natalia from NYC Glow Getters.  The event concluded with a beautiful customized red velvet cake for all the attendees to enjoy.



Every mom-to-be was provided with a stroller and one other larger item – such as a bassinet or swing – as well as packs of diapers and wipes, and other essential baby supplies. And they also received gift baskets in celebration of Mother’s Day and a brand-new breast pump. We’re grateful to our generous donors who made this event possible including Evelyn Ortiz, Lisa De Filipio, Carlotta Peters & The Pay It Forward Family, We Got To Stop, Youth Referral and Placement Unit, Inc (YRPU), CCD, and 696 Build Queensbridge.

Marissa Bernowitz, Queens Defenders’ DOVE Coordinator and Angelina Rosado, the program’s Case Worker stated, “Providing a space for survivors to come together and know they are not alone is important. We couldn’t be prouder to surprise these soon-to-be mothers and Survivors with this event and gifts donated by our generous supporters. We will continue to fight for and support domestic and intimate partner violence Survivors throughout this borough with events like this.”


Funding for Queens Defenders’ Domestic Violence Programming is provided by SafeHorizon and New York City Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers through the Domestic and Other Violence Emergencies (DOVE) Initiative.