FULTON, NY – A Mayoral Proclamation has recognized October 2017 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the city of Fulton, recognizing the 30th anniversary of a nationwide effort born from victim service providers and survivors to raise awareness of the epidemic of domestic violence.
Members of SAF, Oswego County’s domestic violence and rape crisis center were present at a recent meeting of the Fulton Common Council to accept the proclamation.
Oswego County Opportunities Services to Aid Families has provided crisis, supportive, advocacy, and educational services throughout Oswego County for 30 years.
SAF served nearly 550 survivors and answered more than 2,300 calls on its Crisis Hotline in 2016, however, crimes of domestic and sexual violence remain vastly underreported, the proclamation detailed.
In a broader perspective, it’s estimated that 1 out of 4 women in the United States will experience domestic violence and it’s been determined that every nine seconds a woman is abused or assaulted by an intimate partner.
“The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. Victims and survivors are more likely to experience mental health issues and turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the trauma,” the proclamation explained.
Dangers increase for police officers when responding to domestic violence incidents as these are the instances when police are most likely to be injured or killed in the line of duty, however, domestic violence represents the majority of calls made to police.
Officer Justin Sweeting of the Fulton Police Department joined SAF staff to receive the Mayoral Proclamation as a show of support.
In attempt to prevent instances of domestic violence, SAF has recognized that awareness and education are key components to increase public knowledge of domestic violence and have collaborated in several ways to achieve this goal.
The annual “Silent Witness and Survivor Flag Display” at Indian Point along State Route 481 illustrates the devastating effects of domestic violence as red figures in the display represent victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence and those that suffer in silence while purple flags stand to represent the 550 victims and survivors SAF served in 2016.
“By putting this display along one of the busiest roads, we are showing that this city supports victims and survivors of domestic violence and we must stand up and say NO MORE to domestic violence,” the proclamation read.
The display is also located outside Oswego City Hall, on the SUNY Oswego Campus, and in North Park in the Village of Pulaski.
Purple, the symbolic color of domestic violence awareness, will be connected throughout Oswego County and across the state in an effort to raise awareness for the domestic violence epidemic.
OCO’s main office building in Fulton, the exterior of Oswego City Hall, and the exterior signage to the main entrance of SUNY Oswego will be lit purple during the month of October as part of New York State’s Shine the Light campaign.
On Thursday, October 19, you and all community members can participate in the movement by taking part in the National Wear Purple Day. Just by wearing something purple and posting your picture to social media platforms using the hashtags #OswegoWearsPurple, #ShinetheLight, #WearPurpleNYS, and #PurpleThursday, you become a part of the awareness efforts.
Proclamations made by Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr., the Oswego County Legislature, and Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow spearheaded a county-wide effort to raise domestic violence awareness and were followed by other acts of awareness including purple ribbon decals on patrol vehicles of the Oswego City Police Department to support the end of domestic violence, and a number of local pizza shops using special pizza box toppers to raise awareness.
Many efforts have been made to bring awareness to domestic violence and in doing so, services to domestic violence victims and survivors has progressed, efforts to hold abusers accountable has been recognized, and legislation has been created and updated to further these goals.
However, SAF addresses the work that is still to be done to combat domestic violence. Efforts will continue throughout Oswego County to collaborate between all corners of the community – law enforcement, advocates, schools, and community groups to raise awareness and education with the optimal goal to end domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is a victim or survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or stalking, please call the Crisis Hotline at (315) 342-1600. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and is free and confidential.
A private, non-profit agency, OCO touches the lives of approximately 20,000 people each year through more than 50 programs operating in 100 locations throughout Oswego County.
The agency, which is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member, employs nearly 600 people and has more than 1,200 highly valued volunteers.
For more information, visit www.oco.org.