Statement from Safe Horizon CEO Ariel Zwang on the Passing of Former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch
Posted on: Monday, February 4, 2013
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of former congressman and New York Mayor Edward I. Koch, whose wholehearted support and care for victims’ services helped establish Safe Horizon, then known as Victim Services Agency, in 1978. Our condolences go out to his loved ones during this difficult time,” said Ariel Zwang, CEO of Safe Horizon. “Mayor Koch was a brilliant man who played an instrumental role in the formation of Safe Horizon. He truly believed that each victim deserved a vehicle through which they could express their needs, a place where important services were provided to meet victims of crime and abuse at some of the darkest times in their lives.”
Mayor Koch awarded Victim Services Agency its first city contract to further the growth of programs and services within the criminal and civil justice systems with the expansion of our hotline and child care centers, and helped us established court-based assistance for victims in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. It all started with addressing the urgent need to help criminal court witnesses who had been intimidated, or who felt too threatened to testify in court. By 1981, Victim Services Agency had included programs for victims of domestic violence, providing shelter, counseling, and other practical support.
“Over the past few decades, thanks to the pioneering work of Mayor Koch, Safe Horizon has been at the forefront of victims’ services, creating innovative programs from the Streetwork Project to the Families of Homicide Victims program, which have become nationally recognized models for service providers,” said Zwang. “Safe Horizon’s success today would not have been possible without Mayor Koch. His legacy lives on, allowing victims to have a safe horizon, a day when they could look forward to a better and safer tomorrow.”