STILLWATER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Saratoga County and the Stillwater Police Department recognized the month by collecting cell phones for victims of domestic violence. The phones are essential to those in abusive situations where access to communication could be cut off.

“These phones become life lines for these victims,” Ray Cordani, Commissioner and Organizer of the program, said. “During an emergency incident, they can call for help.” 

Cordani started the annual event in 2003, working with local businesses to collect cell phones. Those phones are given to advocacy groups. Over the last 20 years, 7,000 phones have been donated to victims of domestic violence. Advocates at the press conference said changing the culture surrounding domestic violence is key to prevention.

“Violence thrives in silence,” Maggie Fronk, Executive Director of Wellspring, said. “We talk about it, and we raise awareness, and that is how we change the culture.” 

This is the last year Cordani is running the program, but the cause will continue under new leadership.

“Continue to hold abusers accountable for their actions,” Cordani said. “Prosecute violent offenders to the fullest extent of the law and show no mercy for repeat violent offenders.” 

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, help is available.

The Family Counseling Center Hotline518.725.5300

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Love is Respect – focused on teen dating violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline1.800.799.7233

National Network to End Domestic Violence