OSWEGO, NY – Given the startling facts regarding domestic violence, officials say there is a pretty good chance that we all probably know someone who is or has been in an abusive relationship.
In recognition of Domestic Violence Month, Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families program has planned a number of activities and events to help raise awareness of domestic violence in Oswego County and to educate the community on the services that are available through the SAF program.
One of which brought dozens of people together Wednesday to form a human purple ribbon.
“This is the first time we attempted this,” said Meredith Needham, SAF education manager. “It’s a great visual to help draw attention to the fight against domestic violence in Oswego County. Throughout the month of October, we’re encouraging community members to show their support for our efforts to end domestic violence in Oswego County.”
The staff of the SAF program was joined by dozens of people all decked out in various shades of purple in the former Price Chopper parking lot on East Cayuga Street to form the first ever-human purple ribbon in Oswego County.
Representatives from the Oswego Fire Department donated the use of a couple firefighters and a vehicle to take an aerial photograph of the ribbon.
“If you or someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or stalking, please call the Abuse and Assault Hotline at (315) 342-1600. The hotline is staffed by trained counselors and is available 24 hours a day/seven days a week, with collect calls accepted within Oswego County,” Needham said.
“I want to thank Arise for being here and everyone from OCO – thank you to everyone who came. And, thanks to the fire department for the lift!” she continued. “We hope that this makes more people aware of the issue, right here in Oswego County. Our goal is to raise awareness about the prevalence, cost and burden that domestic violence has on a community, the need for prevention education, and most important, the role that community support and involvement plays in addressing the issue. The more people who are aware of this, the better.”
SAF provided victim services to 840 people in 2010. In 2011, that figure jumped to 1,003 individuals, she said, adding that it is a “pretty high number” considering that not all victims seek help from SAF.
“It’s really a wonderful thing to see so many people here today and to know that our community is aware of this issue and willing to do something to prevent it, and doesn’t want it to be ‘a silent issue’ any longer” she told Oswego County Today. “Survivors and victims are supported in Oswego County.”
For more information on Domestic Violence Month or the services offered through OCO’s SAF program call Needham at (315) 342-1544.
OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.
A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.
For more information, visit www.oco.org