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Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) by hosting the Clothesline Project on the front walk of the County’s Government Center on Monday, October 1st.
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, District Attorney David Hoovler, Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, Commissioner of Mental Health and Social Services Darcie Miller, Legislator Jim O'Donnell, Assemblymen Karl Brabanec and James Skoufis, and Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Executive Director of Safe Homes of Orange County, all attended the event.
The Clothesline Project, which was last displayed at the Government Center in 2010, is comprised of T-shirts hand made by survivors of domestic violence or in honor of someone who has been a victim of violence. It not only promotes awareness but also helps the healing process for victims and those who have lost a loved one to domestic violence.
“The County is honored to host the Clothesline Project,” Neuhaus said. “It is a very emotional and moving display, but also very important. We are here to raise awareness about domestic violence and celebrate the lives of victims, survivors and their families. Orange County will continue to assist Safe Homes and the incredible work they do with and for domestic violence victims.”
According to Kostyal-Larrier, the Government Center is the only location that can accommodate the full display of more than 600 T-shirts. Rows of clotheslines hanging with an array of colorful shirts stood outside of the Government Center amongst County employees, advocates and law enforcement officials as they recognized the start of DVAM. The shirts were decorated with messages for victims and from survivors of domestic violence.
The statistics are alarming: one in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime. On average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. Since September of 2004, 25 women have been murdered by their husbands or intimate partners in Orange County, and one woman is missing but presumed dead, according to Safe Homes.
“Every one of us plays a vital role in ending domestic violence and the commitment from Orange County government, and the community represented here strengthens our coordinated efforts,” Kostyal-Larrier said. “Today, we stood together united as one voice in support of victims and their families. This partnership creates opportunities to have significant impact on victims and their families. We appreciate all that Orange County has done, and continues to do, to help raise awareness about domestic violence.”
Safe Homes provides free counseling, support groups, legal services, and other forms of support to victims of domestic violence, teen dating violence and human trafficking, and gives training to agencies, businesses, law enforcement, and individuals regarding domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call Safe Homes of Orange County 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 845-562-5340.