Observing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month at YWCA Mohawk Valley
UTICA, N.Y. (Oct. 31, 2023) – Each October, everything at YWCA Mohawk Valley (YWCA MV) turns purple. Not a new shade of orange for Halloween, not reds and yellows like the autumn leaves, but a vibrant, deliberate purple. Why? Purple is the official color for domestic violence awareness, and October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).
Across the Mohawk Valley, we are all part of a remarkable, caring, people-driven community. It can be easy to believe that domestic violence doesn’t happen here, that we all live in safe and happy homes. Unfortunately, at YWCA MV, we know our community is no stranger to intimate partner violence; that is why October is an exceptionally important time of year.
DVAM helps us and domestic violence service providers across the country shine a light on a dark topic. Raising awareness for how deeply pervasive this violence is for millions of women, girls, and families across the country is a critical part of our mission at YWCA MV.
With a staff of under 50, our expert team provides 24-hour access to life-saving programs, all provided at no cost to our clients. These include shelter, rapid re-housing programs, case management, one-on-one counseling, support groups, referrals, and advocacy and accompaniment through court, law enforcement, and medical proceedings.
In 2022, we provided more than 68,000 instances of service. In Oneida County alone, we served 1,831 new domestic violence clients, including housing 136 clients in emergency shelter and answering 2,459 calls and texts to our crisis hotlines.
The demand our agency has seen for all of these services and programs has consistently increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which created more dangerous circumstances for those already living in violent homes. Between 2019 and 2020, our small but mighty team more than doubled the total number of instances of services provided throughout the year. The upward trend continued through the following two years, and we don’t anticipate it slowing down anytime soon.
YWCA MV works diligently day and night to serve every person who comes to our door, to empower those who seek us out as victims to reclaim their power and become survivors. We believe that together with the rest of our community, we can work diligently to effectively eradicate all forms of gender-based violence from the Mohawk Valley.
Through our annual Purple Ribbon campaign this year, we had the honor of partnering with a number of local businesses and organizations to fundraise exclusively for our domestic violence crisis services. We extend our thanks to everyone who participated:
- Adirondack Bank
- Bagel Grove
- Café Domenico
- Camden High School Amnesty Club
- Cathedral Corporation
- Fit Body Boot Camp, Whitesboro
- Hamilton College Center for Intersectional Feminism
- Holland Farms Bakery & Deli
- JAY-K Lumber
- Marcy Correctional Facility
- Posh Salon
- Seneca Wine & Liquor
- Steet-Ponte Mazda
- Tri-Valley Beverage
- Utica University Young Scholars, LLP
- SavOn & select Maple Leaf Markets in Madison County in partnership with Liberty Resources Help Restore Hope Center
We are grateful to have the continuous support of so many community partners in our mission to eradicate domestic violence from the Mohawk Valley. We are able to do this life-saving work everyday because of the dedication, generosity, and passion of people like you.
YWCA MV is available for anyone experiencing domestic and/or sexual violence via our free and confidential 24-hour hotline services. Visit ywcamv.org/Chat to reach an advocate directly through our private, secure server. In Oneida County, call or text 315.797.7740 for domestic and sexual violence crisis services. In Herkimer County, call 315.866.4120 for child advocacy and adult sexual violence crisis services. For more information about YWCA MV, visit ywcamv.org.
DVAM 2023 is presented by Bank of Utica and empowered by The Hartford and Mohawk Valley Health System.
YWCA MV is available for anyone experiencing domestic and/or sexual violence via our free and confidential 24-hour hotline services. Visit ywcamv.org/Chat to reach an advocate directly through our private, secure server. In Oneida County, call or text 315.797.7740 for domestic and sexual violence crisis services. In Herkimer County, call 315.866.4120 for child advocacy and adult sexual violence crisis services. For more information about YWCA MV, click here.