Gift Expands Reach of Program to Assist Victims of Domestic Violence

Major gift provides for expertise and training to expand access to mental health services for victims of domestic violence

(New York, NY—Jan. 19, 2017)—The Chapman Perelman Foundation has contributed $1 million to the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) to expand the Chapman Perelman Domestic Violence Initiative. The Domestic Violence Initiative was created in 2014 with an initial $1 million gift from the Foundation to establish a prototype for providing mental health services to victims of domestic violence, a neglected area in the care of this social problem. Anna Chapman, MD, a Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons graduate, and Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, chair of psychiatry at CUIMC, conceived this innovative program to provide on-site clinical psychiatric services in concert with the NYC Family Justice Centers, which were established by the Bloomberg administration to provide legal and social assistance to domestic violence victims who tend, more often than not, to be women and children. This innovative private-academic-public partnership began with a pilot program at the Bronx Family Justice Center (BxFJC). Services provided include psychiatric evaluations, psychopharmacologic treatment and psychotherapy, and training of other service providers at the BXFJC.

In recognition of the beneficial impact demonstrated by the BxFJC model, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in 2015 that the city would replicate the services provided by this model to Family Justice Centers citywide. This new gift facilitates the expansion of this program to the NYC Family Justice Centers in each borough. This expanded program will be administered by the New York City Health and Hospitals (H&H) and the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.

The Chapman-Perelman gift will provide support to Mayumi Okuda Benavides, MD, and Rosa Regincos, LCSW, the first Chapman Perelman caregivers at BXFJC, and Columbia Psychiatry faculty members Catherine Monk, PhD, and Elizabeth Fitelson, MD, who will provide technical assistance and domestic violence-specific clinical training and supervision of new mental health clinicians. CUIMC also will evaluate, assess, and guide the ongoing improvement of the expanded services

Dr. Lieberman noted that “if not for the humanitarian interest and civic mindedness of generous people like Anna Chapman and Ron Perelman too many public health problems would go untreated. Our goal is to provide each person with the best possible care while contributing to a greater understanding of the causes and generational patterns of domestic violence, in order to break the cycle of violence. It is our hope that the Chapman Perelman Domestic Violence Initiative will provide a model of care that can be adopted by other cities and become a standard component of public health care.”

“Domestic violence has traditionally been approached as a legal and social issue and not from a mental health perspective,” said Dr. Chapman. “I believe that in order to combat this devastating problem most effectively, it is crucial to offer qualified medical and psychological support. The Chapman Perelman Foundation is proud to expand this unique partnership between the NYC Family Justice Centers and the Columbia Department of Psychiatry, which both enhances the multitude of services that the FJC provides and fosters a better understanding of how to help future generations affected by domestic violence.”

“Too often, people focus on the physical scars of domestic violence, forgetting that the emotional scars can run even deeper. Thanks to the generosity of the Chapman Perelman Foundation, the expanded partnership between Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the NYC Family Justice Centers will help us provide even more support for victims of domestic violence across the city,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

The BXFJC is a public-private initiative lead by the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). The center is designed to bring together under one roof more than 60 domestic violence professionals in a collaborative effort to provide domestic violence victims and children greater support and accessibility to services and resources. This collaborative effort makes the entire process less intimidating to victims and their children and more efficient and effective for everyone involved.

“Since their creation, the NYC Family Justice Centers (FJCs) have provided free and comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and elder abuse and their families. Having the capacity and expertise to focus on the mental health and wellbeing of the survivors who walk through our doors, the FJCs are now able to provide an unprecedented level of care and healing,” said Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel. “This groundbreaking holistic approach allows us to treat the survivor while simultaneously helping them rebuild their lives. OCDV is grateful for the vision and partnership of the Chapman Perelman Foundation, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, and New York City Health + Hospitals. This initiative will help give survivors the support they need as they take steps to live a life free of violence.”

The expanded collaboration will continue to draw on an array of Columbia resources, including the CUIMC Women’s Mental Health Program, a clinical and research program developed by the Department of Psychiatry in collaboration with the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Sackler Parent-Infant Program at Columbia’s Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, which conducts clinical research dedicated to the science of infant intervention services.


Columbia University Department of Psychiatry

Columbia Psychiatry is ranked among the best departments and psychiatric research facilities in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders. It is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders. Visit for more information.

Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence

The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, established in 2001, oversees the citywide delivery of domestic violence services, develops policies and programs, and works with diverse communities to increase awareness of domestic violence. The NYC Family Justice Centers are a public-private initiative of the OCDV. These one-stop domestic violence service centers reduce barriers and make it easier for victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, and sex trafficking to get the help that they need, in their language, regardless of immigration status, income, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Currently, OCDV operates four NYC Family Justice Centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens with a fifth Center opening in Staten Island in 2015.

 The Chapman Perelman Foundation

The Chapman Perelman Foundation is a private foundation formed in 2010 by Anna Chapman and Ronald O. Perelman, which supports a range of social, educational and scientific causes, with a primary focus on advancing the scientific field of neuro-psychoanalysis, mental health, and medical research.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which facilitates innovative public-private partnerships throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The Fund relies on individuals, foundations, and corporations to support public programs in areas including the environment, youth development, financial empowerment, health, volunteerism and the arts.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Irving Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. Columbia University Irving Medical Center shares a campus with its hospital partner, NewYork-Presbyterian. For more information, visit or



domestic violence