domestic violence | WAMC

domestic violence

NYS Senator Jen Metzger
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Senator Jen Metzger

A New York state senator has introduced legislation to require judges and court clerks to undergo training related to domestic violence.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

On Monday, 49-year-old Michael Lavigne of North Adams was found guilty on two counts of assault and battery on a household member in Northern Berkshire District Court. Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington has made domestic violence a policy focus, and her office pursued the conviction using evidence gathered from a correctional facility phone, with the victim unwilling to testify. Harrington spoke with WAMC.

Greg Buzulencia
Courtesy of Greg Buzulencia

A Beacon, New York man is combining a trail-running goal with a cause. He will attempt to run a section of the Appalachian Trail in record time, while raising awareness about domestic violence and a case out of Poughkeepsie.

A woman in a blue suit stands at a microphone-covered podium in a booklined room
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington says an increased amount of fentanyl-laced heroin has hit area streets. The Democrat spoke with WAMC Thursday about the connection between the batch and rising overdoses in the region, as well as increasing domestic violence rates and the coming arraignment of a Great Barrington police officer for drunk driving in April.

Unity House is a Rensselaer County-based human service agency that provides a wide range of services to meet the otherwise unmet needs of people in the community who are hurting and struggling. They assist those who are living in poverty, adults living with mental illness or HIV/AIDS, victims of domestic violence, and children with developmental delays. They work to achieve social justice in our community and to create a better understanding of those we serve.

Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Elizabeth Freeman Center is the 24/7 domestic violence program and rape crisis center for Berkshire County, with offices in North Adams, Pittsfield, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Executive Director Janis Broderick says the county is already experiencing a critical amount of domestic and sexual violence, and that the COVID-19 outbreak will only intensify the problem. She spoke with WAMC about why a bad situation in the Berkshires will only get worse in the era of social distancing and limited public services.

The Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force was launched by District Attorney Andrea Harrington in April 2019. It unveiled its first initiative last fall – a community read of Rachel Louise Snyder’s “No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us.” Snyder – a reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post and on This American Life – will be in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the Colonial Theater February 6th to talk about the book. She spoke with WAMC about what compelled her to focus on domestic violence.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Berkshire County District Attorney says a North Adams, Massachusetts woman has died from injuries sustained in a brutal attack by her husband over the summer.

The Astros were facing a Major League Investigation before the first pitch of the World Series, thanks to the taunting assistant general manager Brandon Taubman directed toward three female reporters Monday night as the team celebrated winning the American League pennant in the locker room after the game.


Officials in Massachusetts are trying to spread the word about a program that can help women break away from an abusive relationship before it escalates to deadly violence.

We call it domestic violence. We call it private violence. Sometimes we call it intimate terrorism. But whatever we call it, we generally do not believe it has anything at all to do with us, despite the World Health Organization deeming it a “global epidemic.” In America, domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it remains locked in silence, even as its tendrils reach unseen into so many of our most pressing national issues, from our economy to our education system, from mass shootings to mass incarceration to #MeToo. We still have not taken the true measure of this problem.

In "No Visible Bruises," journalist Rachel Louise Snyder gives context for what we don't know we're seeing. She frames this urgent and immersive account of the scale of domestic violence in our country around key stories that explode the common myths-that if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; that a violent person cannot become nonviolent; that shelter is an adequate response; and most insidiously that violence inside the home is a private matter, sealed from the public sphere and disconnected from other forms of violence.

The Westchester County executive has signed a law that grants victims of domestic violence or human trafficking paid leave from their jobs to address their situations.

Elizabeth Freeman Center Website

WAMC's David Guistina speaks with Kim Rivers, a board member for the Elizabeth Freeman Center, which provides leadership and services to address domestic and sexual violence in Berkshire County. The pair also discuss tomorrow's Walk A Mile fundraiser.

Kristin Hannah’s best-selling novel “The Nightingale” illuminated the women of the French resistance in World War II. Her new novel “The Great Alone” focuses on fiercely independent women in extraordinarily difficult circumstances in Alaska who must fight each day to survive.

Push In NY To Remove Guns From Domestic Abusers

Feb 13, 2018
New York State Capitol

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to give police officers in New York the legal power to remove firearms from a home after a case of domestic violence. Currently, firearms must be surrendered by someone charged with domestic violence only if the suspect is named in an order of protection, or if a judge decides the accused poses a threat to the protected person. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting a head start on his State of the State proposals, and says he’ll propose a bill to close a loophole that allows some convicted of domestic violence to possess guns.

Imagine a social, political and economic environment in which domestic violence has disappeared.

Amy Barasch
Amy Barasch

For women being subjected to domestic violence, getting help doesn’t just mean calling the police. Oftentimes, they can gain protection from civil court proceedings — but many can’t afford a lawyer. An organization called Her Justice works to fill that gap, supplying lawyers to domestic violence victims, who are often poor. Executive Director Amy Barasch (bare-ish), who headed the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence from 2007 to 2012, spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

New York is requiring insurers providing individual coverage through the state health exchange to allow victims of domestic violence or abandonment to enroll at any time.

This is a picture of Connecticut's state capitol

A state panel is moving closer toward recommending how Connecticut can better help children exposed to domestic violence, including those involving a homicide

This is a picture of the logo of the The Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University
Facebook: The Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University

Three Berkshire County high schools are among nearly 100 taking part in a statewide effort to prevent domestic violence among young people.

The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, known as Jane Doe Inc. announced the group’s 2016 White Ribbon Campaign at the State House in Boston Tuesday. 

The campaign is a primary prevention strategy to help end male violence against women. 

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Jane Doe Inc.’s Men’s Initiative Coordinator Craig Norberg-Bohm.

This is a picture of the seal of Massachusetts

Three Berkshire County high schools are among nearly 100 taking part in a statewide effort to prevent domestic violence among young people.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito visited western Massachusetts Thursday to announce the expansion of a state network designed to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Concha García Hernández/Wikimedia

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to ensure orders of protection in domestic sex assaults are extended through their attacker's probation term.

Twitter: @MassAGO

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and the charitable arm of the New England Patriots are partnering to combat youth domestic violence.

Concha García Hernández/Wikimedia

It’s often an unseen or unrecognized form of violence.  But it’s also one of the most common crimes and among the most dangerous to emergency responders.  Weapons can be anything from guns to hands to knives or even words.  In the final part of our weeklong series 'Crime in our Communities,’ WAMCs' North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks at domestic violence. 


News is just reaching many New Yorkers that a recent University at Albany graduate was killed in Asia. 

  The New York state Senate has voted to create a public list of those convicted of violent felonies similar to the existing sex offender registry. 

The proposal is intended to prevent future crimes, and in particular domestic violence, by allowing people to check if a new acquaintance has a violent past.

The legislation is named Brittany's Law after Brittany Passalacqua, a 12-year-old from Geneva who was murdered in 2009 along with her mother by her mother's then boyfriend. The boyfriend had a prior conviction for a violent felony.

State and federal grants will help support legal staff of a program in Orange County to prosecute certain domestic violence cases.