ALBANY. N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, launching a bold innovation to assist survivors of domestic violence and support prevention.

In an initiative to enhance prevention programs, a grant of $6.5 million in funding will allow state-licensed service providers to offer survivors of domestic violence and their families with options for assistance and support, instead of relying on shelter-based services

The state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) will highlight new technology’s in its role to offer innovative solutions to meet the needs of survivors and their families of domestic violence.

The OPDV’s new social media campaign will highlight technology to intersect with domestic violence and spread awareness on the forms of technology-assisted abuse, which provides survivors with access to information, safety planning, and allows them to connect with their support systems.

Administered by the state Office of Children and Family Services, the $6.5 million will support two initiatives.

“Our agency is proud to administer this federal grant money to allow providers to fund concrete needs for domestic violence survivors,” Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila Poole said. “Giving them the resources to attain safe housing. We know that providing families with support and resources is foundational to preventing domestic violence in the first place.”

$1.7 million will go to five nonprofit organizations that offer domestic violence prevention programs. Each of these programs will receive $342,380:

  • Retreat, Inc. in East Hampton,
  • The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
  • Unity House of Troy
  • Vera House in Syracuse
  • Family Justice Center of Erie County
  • with $4.8 million to 79 service providers statewide  in the intiative to provide housing for domestic violence survivors. 

The OPDV has launched its new website, which will also release a new publication to help survivors to provide concrete tools and steps to protect privacy and safety in a digital world.