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Event seeks to raise awareness of domestic violence

Posted 10/5/22

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the YWCA Mohawk Valley has several events planned for the weeks ahead. “

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Event seeks to raise awareness of domestic violence

Posted

UTICA — October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the YWCA Mohawk Valley has several events planned for the weeks ahead.

“Across the Mohawk Valley, we are all part of a remarkable, caring, people-driven community,” said YWCA CEO Dianne Stancato.

“It can be easy to believe that domestic violence doesn’t happen here, that we all live in safe and happy homes. Unfortunately, at YWCA MV, we know our community is no stranger to intimate partner violence; that is why October is an exceptionally important time of year.”

As a team of 50 workers, the YWCA MV provides 24-hour access to life-saving programs, all provided at no cost.

Stancato said the office provided more than 48,000 instances of service in 2021, including helping 1,938 new clients in Oneida County and housing 168 clients in emergency shelters.

The workers also provide transitional and rapid re-housing programs, case management, one-on-one counseling, support groups, referrals, and advocacy and accompaniment through court, law enforcement and medical proceedings.

The COVID pandemic was also a major factor in people reporting domestic abuse, officials said.

“Quarantine and stay-at-home orders meant no distance from abusive partners, and no distance meant seeking help became difficult and dangerous,” Stancato said.

“Alarmingly, the number of calls made to our 24-hour hotline dropped dramatically throughout the first months of quarantine. To increase ease of access to our life-saving services, we implemented our online chat server and texting capabilities, and outreach skyrocketed.”

The biannual Take Back the Night event will return in-person this year at a new location in the Utica, Stancato stated. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Utica Public Library on Genesee Street.

Take Back the Night is free and open to the public, and will include a rally, a march through the city, a candlelight vigil and a confidential speak-out session.

There will not be an event in Rome this year due to scheduling conflicts, officials said. The YWCA is hoping to return to Rome next year.

Oct. 20 is also Wear Purple Day to show support for survivors of domestic violence.

The Purple Ribbon Campaign will run throughout the month and is the signature fundraiser of the YWCA MV in Oneida and Madison counties.

Purple ribbons are available to purchase for a suggested donation of $1 at multiple locations in the Mohawk Valley.

For more information on Domestic Violence Awareness Month, visit the YWCA MV website at www.ywcamv.org.

The emergency telephone line for domestic violence can be called or texted at 315-797-7740 in Oneida County, and in Herkimer County at 315-866-4120.

Emergency chat can be reached at www.ywcamv.org/chat.

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