Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Public Awareness

OPDV Press Releases

New York State Seal

Contact: Suzanne Cecala, Press Office NYS OPDV (518) 457-5800 suzanne.cecala@opdv.ny.gov www.opdv.ny.gov

Seal of the City of Albany

Contact: Bob Van Amburgh City of Albany, Mayor’s Office (518) 434-5100 vanamburghb@ci.albany.ny.us

NOTE: OPDV Executive Director Amy Barasch is available this afternoon for interviews, schedule permitting. To arrange an interview, contact Suzanne Cecala at (518) 457-5800, (518) 817-8890 or suzanne.cecala@opdv.ny.gov.

Press Release For immediate release: October 19, 2010

The City of Albany and New York State are Turning Purple to “Shine The Light on Domestic Violence”

Albany, NY – Today, Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings joined Amy Barasch, Executive Director of the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV), for a press conference at Albany City Hall to highlight two important projects promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The first initiative is the Capital City’s adoption of a Domestic Violence in the Workplace Policy, which will provide support and potentially lifesaving guidance for City employees. In 2008, Governor Paterson enacted a similar executive order requiring all State agencies to implement such a policy, which has been hugely successful. Last year, the City of Albany became the first NYS municipality to adopt the State’s policy.

“I am extremely proud of the efforts put forth by everyone involved with this important initiative to not only speak out against domestic violence, but also to improve community outreach and support, as well as strive to ensure that the workplace remains a safe and supportive environment,” said Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings. “Domestic violence is a serious issue affecting every community across New York State, and I strongly believe that we must continue to work together to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the support systems necessary to help break the cycle of domestic violence.”

Director Barasch said, “I want to thank Mayor Jennings for being a leader in recognizing the role government, as an employer, can play in assisting a large number of domestic violence victims to get safe and stay employed. Albany continues to be a strong partner in raising awareness about domestic violence.”

The second initiative announced today is the State’s third annual “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign, described as a partnership between the State and public, private, and not-for-profit entities who help turn the State purple during October to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Tonight, Albany residents will be able to see purple lights emanating from the Alfred E. Smith Building, Albany Law School, and the College of St. Rose. City Hall and Stuyvesant Plaza will also be decked out in purple. In addition, iconic structures throughout the State such as Niagara Falls, the Queens College bell tower, 7 World Trade Center, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the Genesee County Court Building, the Hutchinson Metro Center and others will also be made purple this month.

Mayor Jennings and Director Barasch, surrounded by State and local officials, asked that ALL NEW YORKERS join them and wear purple tomorrow, October 20th, in support of this important initiative. There are countless “Purple Partners” Shining the Light on Domestic Violence, and more join the movement every day in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"I am so excited to see how this public awareness effort has really taken off in just three years. This kind of effort encourages people to ask questions and discuss this issue, brings new participants in to commit to fight the problem of domestic violence, and brings more attention to local programs as part of a state effort," said Amy Barasch.

Michele McKeon, Chief Executive Officer of the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said "For far too long domestic violence has been shrouded in shame and secrecy. This initiative is a very public response to private violence. To be able to Shine the Light on Domestic Violence we can remind our community of the importance of taking a stand against violence in our homes. We are proud to encourage all 140 NYSCADV member programs around the state to participate."

Purple is the symbolic color for domestic violence awareness and the cornerstone of the state’s “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” public awareness effort, which was spearheaded by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

OPDV supports two statewide victims’ hotlines – one in English, and another in Spanish. When all local domestic violence hotlines across the State are factored in, there were more than 300,000 calls from individuals seeking help last year. Approximately 15,000 people sought emergency shelter, more than half of them children. The statewide hotline numbers are 1-800-942-6906 and 1-800-942-6908. To learn more about the “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” initiative, visit the OPDV website.

State agencies participating in “Shine the Light” to date include: State Police, Bridge Authority, Consumer Protection Board, Council on Children and Families, Dept. of Civil Service, Dept. of Economic Development, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Dept. of Public Service , Dept. of Transportation, Dept. of Taxation & Finance, Division of Criminal Justice Services, Division of Human Rights, Empire State Development Corporation, Homes & Community Renewal, Insurance Fund, Office of Children and Family Services, Office of Court Administration (Third, Fourth and Twelfth Judicial Districts), Office of General Services, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office for Technology, Office of Mental Health (Sagamore and Queens Children's Psychiatric Centers), Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, New York Power Authority, Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, Board of Elections, Racing & Wagering Board.

See all participating organizations throughout the State.

Photos from 2009 can be viewed on OPDV’s website

Photos from 2010 are becoming available as they are received on the OPDV Facebook page and will be on the OPDV website in the near future.

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is a state agency charged with improving the response to and prevention of domestic violence. OPDV provides guidance to Executive level staff on policy and legislation, conducts statewide community outreach and awareness, and trains professionals on addressing domestic violence in a wide array of disciplines.

The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to eradicate domestic violence and to ensure the provision of effective and appropriate services to victims of domestic violence through community outreach, education, training, technical assistance and policy development.