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Upstate NY County Doubles Down Against Domestic Violence

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany County is taking a leadership role in addressing domestic violence — the subject of weeks of handwringing nationally after high-profile cases.

"We have recently seen this veil of secrecy ripped open by very public events within the NFL. It's a sad fact that true action only takes place after tragedy or public shame."

Crime Victims Caseworker Amanda Petrie, speaking Friday at the Albany County Office Building, where officials gathered for the unveiling of a cutting-edge Domestic Violence Awareness program. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Karen Ziegler is director of the Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center. She explains the program includes streamlined Department of Social Services processing for victims.     "Change happens at the moment of crisis. Being able to respond to domestic violence victims when they identify the desire to explore their options will create an environment to support the healing the process. They're not going to have to wait a week. They're not going to have to wait a month, they can get served that day, they can be seen that day for counseling. They can get the support that they need."

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says a partnership between the county legislature and various county agencies is combining efforts and coming together to deliver victims better services.      "We have a 24-hour hotline. Call it. We had over 390 calls and we counseled over 1,200 individuals. We actually accompanied 129 clients to emergency rooms after sexual assaults. And advocated on 554 occasions. These numbers are staggering. But you know what's more staggering?  The women that don't report. The women that are afraid to come out and say something happened to them."

McCoy said undocumented immigrants suffering domestic abuse are also afraid to report violence because they fear deportation. He adds 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence of one type or another.

"We're trying to break that cycle. We're trying to break the chain. And we're trying to teach the next generation that it's not okay to yell at or hit your spouse. That's what these kids see and then they grow up an they think it's okay. I'd love to see the numbers going down. But they're not," said McCoy.

This weekend at Jennings Landing the Albany Police Department is holding its first annual 5K Run/Walk for Domestic Violence.

Saturday, October 25, 2014  -  Jennings Landing, 1 Quay St, Albany, NY ::: The 5K run/walk is a community-based event, with members of the Albany Police Department working in partnership with other Domestic Violence agencies to raise awareness about the profound effects of violence and abuse towards men, women, and children.


Free parking and post-race refreshments available!
This event is being chip timed by ARE Event Productions using timing chips that must be returned at the end of the race.  Failure to return a timing chip will result in a $10 replacement fee to the assigned individual.

To Register Log on to www.zippyreg.com
Online registration closes at 10:00AM on October 22, 2014

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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