Awareness is the first step to preventing domestic violence.
Kingston, NY – Ulster County Executive Mike Hein invited advocates for domestic abuse victims to the Ulster County Office Building to join him in proclaiming the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Ulster County. The County Executive believes that bringing awareness to the devastation caused by domestic violence is the first step in preventing it from happening.
"For the second year, I am directing that the County Office Building be illuminated in purple in honor of domestic violence awareness," said the County Executive. "This year, I am again proclaiming October as Ulster County Violence Awareness Month. I want to thank the members of the Ulster County Interagency Council on Domestic Violence, including the Family of Woodstock, and the County’s Crime Victim’s Unit and Department of Social Services for their fight to end domestic violence and for the work that is being done to educate our community about domestic violence."
Domestic violence is a national issue that affects millions of families each year. Approximately, 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually, with over 3.3 million children witnessing some kind of domestic abuse in their homes. Despite these frightening statistics, domestic abuse remains one of the nation’s most underreported crimes. The national campaign behind the creation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month aims to improve these statistics and bring attention to the resources available to domestic abuse victims.
"We greatly appreciate County Executive Hein declaring October Ulster County Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We hope everyone will join us in October to shine a light on domestic violence," said Kathleen Welby-Moretti, Director of Domestic Violence Services at Family of Woodstock "Only as a community can we stop the violence."
In order to increase awareness of domestic abuse within the community, the county office building was illuminated with purple lights, and will continue to be illuminated every night for the entire month of October. Further, advocates for domestic abuse victims spoke about the devastation caused by domestic violence. The speakers included County Executive Mike Hein; Walter Frey, Legislator and Chair of the Health & Human Services
Committee; Kathleen Welby-Moretti, Director of Family Domestic Violence Services; Holley Carnright, Ulster County District Attorney; Lt. Eric Benjamin, representing Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum; Emily Trotter-Bodie, Assistant Director of The Washbourne House; domestic abuse survivors and a family member.
Some of the resources available in Ulster County for victims of domestic abuse include the Family Domestic Violence Services hotline, which can be reached 24 hours-a-day at 338-2370, and the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program, which can be reached at 845-340-3443. These programs provide counseling, a shelter, as well as legal and financial support for victims. For more information regarding the Crime Victims Assistance Program please visit its website at: http://ulstercountyny.gov/cvap/.