'Shine the Light' this month

Dear Editor,

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and at the non-residential domestic violence program of Hamilton County we are asking the community to take a stand against domestic violence by participating in the statewide campaign, "Shine the Light on Domestic Violence."

Residents and businesses in Hamilton County are encouraged to shine their lights purple during October. The "Shine the Light" campaign has been spearheaded by the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors by one person against another with the goal of gaining and keeping power and control over the victim. These behaviors are not always physical; they include psychological, economic, emotional and sexual abuse as well.

According to Department of Criminal Justice Services statistics, police responded to 192,715 domestic incidents in New York state in 2012, not including New York City.

Domestic violence affects all populations from teenagers to the elderly. It does not discriminate based on gender or sexual preference. If you or someone you know is being affected by domestic violence, please reach out and we will be happy to provide you with assistance.

Also remember there are many good reasons why people choose to stay with their abuser. It may be the safest option for them and their children. Either way, we are here to support you with any decision you make.

Here in Hamilton County, the non-residential domestic violence program is housed in the Department of Social Services. We provide victims assistance with crisis intervention, safety planning, court advocacy, obtaining counseling and many other services. Our hotline is answered 24/7, providing around-the-clock assistance for victims of domestic violence.

The Hamilton County hotline number is 1-800-721-8534. The statewide hotline number is 1-800-942-6906. All services are confidential.

We are asking everyone to join us by wearing purple Oct. 16 to help raise awareness and take a stand against domestic violence and dating abuse. No one has the right to abuse you. Help is only a phone call away.

For more information on how to shine your lights purple visit www.opdv.ny.gov/public_awareness/campaigns/shinethelight/howtolightpurple.pdf.

For additional information contact Hamilton County DSS at (518) 648-6131.

Abigail Eichler, caseworker

Hamilton County DSS

Indian Lake