Note: OPDV Executive Director Amy Barasch is available today for telephone interviews, schedule permitting. To arrange an interview, contact Suzanne Cecala at (518) 457-5744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008
New Yorkers Encouraged to Spread Awareness of Domestic Violence in October
Governor David A. Paterson has signed a proclamation declaring October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Governor proclaimed, “New Yorkers join with all Americans in supporting victims of domestic violence . . . and [send] an unwavering message to abusers that domestic violence will not be tolerated in our State.”
In an effort to raising public awareness about domestic violence, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) for the first time is asking all New Yorkers to participate in a broad effort to "shine the light on domestic violence by turning the state purple." OPDV is asking that government and businesses illuminate their buildings and structures in purple, the color that represents the fight against domestic violence.
Several governmental entities have taken the lead on this new effort, including state Office of General Services Commissioner John C. Egan, who directed his agency to light the top of the iconic Alfred E. Smith building in Albany during the last week of October.
“I’m very pleased that OGS can bring this symbolic beacon of light to the critical issue of domestic violence,” Commissioner Egan said.
James P. Sproat, chairman of the state’s Bridge Authority Board of Commissioners, is lighting the Mid-Hudson Bridge connecting Ulster and Dutchess counties for most of October; and local seats of government, such as Albany City Hall and Brooklyn Borough Hall, also will shine in purple. Private partners are joining in the effort every day, some usingvery creative ways of turning purple.
“The more people are aware that every five days a New Yorker is killed by an intimate partner, the more we can all work together to ensure that people can get and stay safe in their intimate relationships,” OPDV Executive Director Amy Barasch said.
Anyone interested in joining the effort can contact OPDV for a banner to post on their website that links to an explanation of the initiative, as well as practical information about what to do in your community. A regularly updated list of partners and locations are available on OPDV’s website.
Other activities being spearheaded by OPDV and State colleagues this month include:
- New Website: On Oct. 1, OPDV launched its newly-designed website. The site uses state-of-the-art technology as an easy-to-navigate resource for professionals, victims, families and friends across the State, and is accessible to persons with disabilities.
- New OPDV e-Bulletin: Also on Oct. 1, OPDV launched the inaugural edition of the new electronic OPDV Bulletin. This issue includes a welcome letter from Governor Paterson and Executive Director Barasch, an article about human trafficking in New York State as well as general resources and updates. “By using a wide variety of technology now at our disposal, we can ensure that information about best practices, and available services, is shared as broadly as possible across our large and diverse state,” Executive Director Barasch added.
- “Working with Fathers who are Abusive”: Three, day-long regional forums offered by OPDV will provide child protective and child welfare caseworkers the opportunity to gain more information on working with families that include abusive fathers. The events are co-sponsored by the state Office of Children and Family Services and OPDV.
- Exploring the Link Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence: The state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services’ (DCJS) Violence Against Women Act Unit and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)are sponsoring three, day-long trainings designed for law enforcement professionals, social services and animal protective providers and advocates who assist domestic violence victims. The trainings are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 7 in Schenectady; Wednesday, Oct. 15 in Brooklyn and Tuesday, Oct. 21 in Mount Morris (Livingston County).
The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is a state agency charged with improving the response to domestic violence. OPDV provides guidance to Executive level staff on policy and legislation and conducts statewide community outreach and public education programs. OPDV trains professionals on addressing domestic violence in a wide array of disciplines, including child welfare, law enforcement, local district social service providers, and health care professionals.
How You Can Help: There are things people can do to help victims of domestic violence and to spread the message that violence will not be tolerated.
Activities around the State: See how Domestic Violence Awareness Month is being recognized around New York State.
Coaching Boys into Men: Learn more about OPDV's year-long education campaign