Madison County OKs domestic violence aid

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WAMPSVILLE — Madison County will continue providing non-residential services to victims of domestic violence after the Board of Supervisors agreed to an agreement between the county and Liberty Resources.

This year 41 individuals in Madison County received non-residential services such as counseling and support groups.

These services are provided through Combined Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. TANF grants are comprised of federal block grants that individual states use to help families achieve financial dependence through steady employment and marital stability. Madison County has a total of $7,273 available for these services.

Liberty Resources’ Victims of Violence program has a 24-hour hotline: 366-5000. Those who need immediate help should call 911, program officials said.

Abuse takes many forms

Domestic abuse takes many forms, including physical and emotional attacks. They include hitting, name-calling, control of finances, prevention of going to work or visiting friends and family, and blaming the victim, officials said.

“There is no one cause,” Liberty Resources Clinical Program Supervisor Joanne Smith said. “It could be a substance or alcohol use issue by the abuser or stress. These people need to learn how to deal with stress. Our society also is becoming more accepting of the violence we see, and that is a problem.”

Neighbors and family members may also help by being aware of the signs of domestic abuse. These include unexplained bruises and other injuries, a person seeming overly anxious to keep their partner happy, and their partner exhibiting controlling behavior, like limiting contact with friends and family.

Women lose over eight million paid work days annually because of abuse by a current or former partner. Children are also impacted by abuse, with over 20 million of them witnessing domestic violence each year.

Abusers attempt to isolate their partners, and a combination of factors including shame, low self-esteem, lack of finances and guilt cause them to stay in the relationship.

Domestic abuse includes an estimated 835,000 men who are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year. In 2015, 15 percent of domestic violence victims in Madison County were men. “Men and women are different, and the reasons they stay are different,” Smith said. “Men experience the fight or flight response to abuse while women have the flight or take care of the abuser response. They want to make things better.”

Help in Oneida County

The YWCA is the only state-certified provider of domestic and sexual violence in Oneida County. The rate of domestic violence in Oneida County is higher than the state average, and New York has the highest demand for domestic violence calls in the country, statistics show.

The YWCA responded to 2,477 calls to its hotline in 2015, and supported abuse victims 3,691 times in various legal and medical proceedings.

Domestic and sexual abuse victims in Oneida County may call the YWCA’s 24-hour hotline at 797-7740. In Herkimer County a 24-hour hotline is available at 866-4120.

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