Friday, October 1, 2021, Rochester, N.Y. – Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres, City of Rochester Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services, with support from Assemblywoman Sarah Clark and Assemblyman Demond Meeks, issued a joint proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“The last year has been inordinately challenging for families and individuals enduring domestic violence, as well as the many front line partners engaged in the response,” said Alli O’Malley, Chair of the Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium. “In many ways it has been a perfect storm. The pandemic has brought to light the devastating consequences of domestic violence for families and the extraordinary cost to our community, in terms of the dollars and resources, needed to address this scourge. Continuing to focus resources on domestic violence after it occurs is a losing proposition for everyone. We must adopt a preventive framework.”
Willow Domestic Violence Center’s President and CEO Meaghan de Chateauvieux and the Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium released the 2020 Monroe County Domestic Violence Report to the Community. These numbers reflect from January 1 through December 31, 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when stay-at-home orders were implemented.
The report includes the following data:
- 5,127 reports of domestic violence made last year in Monroe County – reports by law enforcement agencies in 4 categories: aggravated assault, simple assault, sex offense and order of protection violation. This is down 4% from 2019.
- 43,827 calls were made to Monroe County 9-1-1 dispatch last year that were classified as domestic disputes – up 1% from 2019.
- 5 domestic violence homicides in Monroe County last year; 3 in the City of Rochester.
- Monroe County rates of domestic violence are 1.6 times the statewide rate, excluding NYC.
- The city of Rochester rates are 3.6 times the statewide rate.
- 3,486 petitions for orders of protection were filed in Family Court, above the 10-year average of 3,300, with 4,432 temporary orders of protection granted. Note: one petition may result in multiple temporary orders.
- Willow Center’s 24/7 Hotline had 7,880 calls – this is a nearly 18% increase from 2019.
“Every October our community gathers to celebrate the strength and resilience of survivors by wearing purple, installing purple flags on our college campuses, and bringing awareness to survivors of domestic violence in our community,” said Meaghan de Chateauvieux, President and CEO for Willow Domestic Violence Center.
Senator Samra Brouk (SD-55): I applaud Willow for the work they do to support those affected by domestic violence. The pandemic has placed a unique strain on their work. With people not working or working from home, survivors of domestic violence are often being forced to live and work in the same space as their abuser. I remain committed to advocating for the needs of organizations doing this important work, and on behalf of all people affected by domestic violence.
Senator Jeremy Cooney (SD-56): Domestic Violence Awareness Month reminds us that the need for prevention is key at both the local and state level to sustain safer environments for those experiencing abuse. This work will help protect the most vulnerable in our communities. Community-based organizations like the Willow Center and Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium help ensure vital education and support continues during a time when it is most needed across our region.
Assemblywoman Sarah Clark (AD-136): Domestic violence crosses all boundaries, and can be felt in every pocket of our community. Today as we mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we must do all we can to prevent and eradicate domestic violence in all of its forms. The past 18 months of the pandemic has placed an increased burden on us all, and it is clear that we must do more to support our families with better access to stable housing, education, mental health services, adequate food and childcare as a means to ending domestic violence. We must meet people where they are and remove the barriers they face to reaching out for help in situations of violence. Thank you to Willow for their critical work of supporting and uplifting survivors, amplifying their voices, and efforts to end domestic violence in our community. Together we can ensure all who are affected by domestic violence are able to not only survive but thrive.
To bring awareness to the increased the levels of danger experienced by many survivors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Willow Center has displayed 2,000 purple flags on the front lawn of the Strong-Todd House. Each flag represents four of the nearly 8,000 domestic violence survivors who have sought help through Willow Center’s 24/7 Hotline since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Area colleges and universities will also be displaying purple flags throughout the month to bring awareness to domestic violence.
Anyone needing support is encouraged to please call Willow Center’s 24/7 Hotline at (585) 222-SAFE (7233) or by text at 348-SAFE. For information about October events to raise awareness and funds to support services for survivors, visit https://willowcenterny.org/
For the complete 2020 Monroe County Domestic Violence Report to the Community and press conference images, visit https://willowny.org/DVReport2020.
ABOUT WILLOW CENTER
Founded in 1979, Willow Domestic Violence Center is the only New York State certified provider of residential domestic violence services in Monroe County. Willow has supported survivors of abuse for over 40 years, reaching nearly 15,000 people each year in the Greater Rochester region. Willow provides a full-continuum of free and confidential services, without judgement, including a 24/7 Hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, mobile advocacy, legal services, court accompaniment, preventive education and training programs. Call 585-222-SAFE (7233) or text 585-348-SAFE (7233).
About Rochester/Monroe County (DVC)
The Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium is a unified organization leading an inclusive, collaborative community response to domestic violence. The Consortium promotes safety for victims, survivors and their families; ensures offender accountability; and fosters community awareness.