NEW YORK (WWTI) — During Domestic Violence Awareness month, New York is launching new services for victims and survivors statewide.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially announced the launch of Domestic Violence Regional Councils that will work to address domestic violence service improvements. The 10 Councils will be coordinated by the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence to provide insight from stakeholders and experts.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York has seen a dramatic increase in the number of domestic violence cases across the state,” stated Cuomo. “New York State is committed to reinventing our systems and methods for helping domestic violence survivors and their families. These regional councils will allow for increased coordination and improved communication between service providers, local stakeholders, and state agencies to help stop this dangerous uptick in domestic violence.”
Cuomo also announced financial relief for service providers. OCFS awarded 88 grants ranging from $10,000 to $38,000, with all programs able to access those funds immediately.
In addition to leading these councils, experts will help to transform service delivery for victims, survivors, and their families. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul leads the first meeting of stakeholders on October 15, and over 200 service providers, advocates, and criminal justice and court professionals were reported in attendance.
“The issue of domestic violence is deeply personal for me with my mother being an advocate and starting a transitional home for victims,” stated Hochul. “By bringing together regional representatives from all agencies and providers that deal with the issue of domestic violence, we can address challenges and implement timely solutions to combat this crisis. These councils will allow for better coordination and communication between all stakeholders and result in improved outcomes for victims and survivors, helping to combat abuse and save lives.”
An initial virtual meeting will be held for the North Country meeting on Thursday October 29.
Additional meeting across the state include:
- October 20: Central New York
- October 29: North Country
- November 5: Southern Tier
- November 11: Mid-Hudson
- November 12: Western New York
- November 19: Capital Region
- December 3: New York City
- December 7: Long Island
- December 10: Mohawk Valley
- December 17: Finger Lakes
The Office of the Prevention of Domestic Violence also released their public awareness campaign “Survivor Voices, Survivor Choices.” This includes a new toolkit with graphics and materials for New Yorkers seeking to draw awareness to the ongoing issue.
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