YWCA Mohawk Valley (YWCA MV) held a press conference this morning reflecting on the agency’s reactions to recent statements made by Oneida County Executive Candidate Dave Gordon.
On Monday, Gordon held a press conference to comment on the cause of his arrest in 2017. YWCA MV officials felt some of his comments should be addressed and held their own press conference in response.
“As a non-profit organization, we do not involve ourselves in political campaigns,” said YWCA MV CEO Dianne Stancato. “What we are here today to address are Mr. Gordon’s public comments regarding the ‘hormonal’ behavior of his fiancée as the cause of his arrest.”
Stancato explained that Gordon’s comments perpetuated the idea of victim blaming, the concept of shifting blame for violent behavior onto the victim instead of the perpetrator. This behavior has become a cultural norm when reports of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of personal violence are made public.
“When we listen to Mr. Gordon’s words, we are hearing him shift blame to his fiancée, instead of taking responsibility and perhaps issuing an apology,” said Stancato. “Insinuating that violence was caused by ‘unexplained emotional issues’ is perpetuating the culture of victim blaming.”
YWCA MV seeks to address the cultural issue that is victim blaming. The agency will not address the politics Gordon’s statements and allegations, nor will they comment on cases or alleged cases of domestic violence.
YWCA MV offers free and confidential domestic and sexual violence crisis services 24-hours. For domestic and sexual violence crisis services in Oneida County, call 315.797.7740. For sexual violence and child abuse services in Herkimer County, call 315.866.4120. For more information about YWCA MV, visit ywcamv.org or call 315.732.2159.