Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Proclaims October As Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted October 4, 2017

Hosting Ulster County’s 5th Annual Domestic Violence Information Forum on October 26, 2017  

Kingston, NY – Ulster County Executive Mike Hein proclaims the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Ulster County.  The County Executive and the Ulster County Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence are sponsoring the 5th Annual Domestic Violence Information Forum, The Impact Domestic Violence has on Children & Adult Survivors, featuring guest speakers: Sayeh Rivazfar, an Investigator with the New York State Police and Board Member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and Robin Gerry, LCSW-R from Orange County Department of Mental Health’s Sex Abuse & Trauma Unit.  Gwen Wright, Executive Director of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence is also expected to attend and address the audience regarding this statewide and national critical issue. The public is invited to this free event which will be held on October 26, 2017 at the SUNY Ulster College Lounge in Vanderlyn Hall, 491 Cottekill Road, Stone Ridge, NY from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Pre-registration is required at www.sunyulster.edu/dvforum.  

Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive

“The statistics are staggering: approximately one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life; and almost half of the women murdered are killed by their intimate partner.  Domestic Violence Awareness Month shines a light on this difficult topic and it is an opportunity to let people know that there are resources available to help if they are in an abusive relationship,” said County Executive Mike Hein.  “Domestic violence is a national epidemic and affects millions of people, including people right here in our community.  Please know that there is hope and I urge anyone in need of help to call the 24 hour hotline at 845-338-2370.   I want to thank the members of the Ulster County Inter-Agency Council for their outstanding efforts as they continue to provide information to the public through the Forum, the Teen Dating Violence Video Contest, as well as their past help in developing the `Ulster County Domestic Violence´ smartphone app which is available for free at the Apple App Store and Google Play.” 

Holley Carnright, Ulster County District Attorney

“Mike Hein is one of those leaders that really gets the significance of domestic violence and the devastating impact it has on our community,” said Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright.  “He has been and remains a formidable ally in this fight.”

Michael Iapoce, Commissioner of the Ulster County Department of Social Services and Chair of the Ulster County Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence

"Bringing important information to professionals in our community that address and respond to domestic violence is this focus of this year's Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence 5th Annual Information Forum.  The Council and our County Executive, Mike Hein, continue to support, recognize, train and encourage these dedicated individuals while also ensuring that we're always informing and educating the community about available domestic violence services and prevention efforts,” said Michael A. Iapoce, Esq., Commissioner of the Ulster County Department of Social Services and Chair of the Ulster County Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence. “This year's Forum will include two keynote speakers, Sayeh Rivazfar, NY State Police and Robin Gerry, LCSW-R, addressing the impact domestic violence has on children and adult survivors.  Our speakers will share vital information about how to support and assist survivors with sensitivity and understanding on their personal journey's to recovery and healing. Also, over the course of October's Domestic Violence Awareness month we will be sponsoring  other initiatives including  a County employee payroll stuffer, billboards and handing out bracelets and magnetic car ribbons at events aimed at continuing to raise and generate public awareness of the need to end domestic violence.” 

Domestic Violence is a national issue and is defined as a pattern of coercive behavior that is culturally learned and socially condoned. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse and is perpetrated by one person against their intimate partner. Domestic violence can also be perpetrated by and/or against a member of the same family or household.  Domestic violence remains a huge and largely hidden problem.   According to the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, in 2015, a total of 251,753 domestic violence and sexual assault hotline calls were received which was a 10% decrease from the previous year.  In addition, New York State courts issued a total of 293,525 orders of protection in 2015 which declined .08% from 2014.

The County is working to address the issue of domestic violence in many ways by:

  • Lighting the County Office Building and the cupola at the Crime Victim’s Unit Office at 1 Pearl Street in Kingston purple;
  • Providing four billboards to be displayed throughout the County;
  • Hanging Domestic Violence Awareness banners with the hotline number at various locations; 
  • Displaying the Clothesline Project Art Exhibit in the lobby of the Ulster County Office building; and
  • Including information to employees regarding Domestic Violence Awareness Month and encouraging employees to wear purple on October 19, 2017.

Some of the resources available in Ulster County for victims of domestic abuse include the Family of Woodstock Domestic Violence Services hotline, which can be reached 24 hours-a-day at 845-338-2370, and the Ulster County Crime Victim Assistance Program, which can be reached at 845-340-3442.  These programs provide counseling, shelter, as well as legal and financial support for victims.  For more information please visit the Crime Victims Assistance Program at: http://ulstercountyny.gov/probation/crime-victim-assistance and the Family of Woodstock at: http://www.familyofwoodstockinc.org/domestic-violence-services. In addition, the videos from the Teen Dating Violence Video Contests can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/user/UlsterCountyExec and the

domestic violence smartphone app can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching “Ulster County Domestic Violence.”

Attached below: Proclamation, Forum Flyer