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    By: Eric Gross

    State Senator Greg Ball signed a huge facsimile check for $50,000 last Thursday to the delight of staff and volunteers at the Putnam Women’s Center in Mahopac.

    The senator told center Executive Director Ann Ellsworth: “You and your staff perform God’s work every day to provide a safety net for the community during an increasingly tough time.”

    Ball called domestic violence an “epidemic that must be confronted head on.”

    Ellsworth said the money would be used for the center’s Family Court Enhancement Project by allowing the center to hire victim advocates while enhancing the group’s bilingual victim advocate program allowing for additional representation of victims both in the courts and at the center. Funds are also being used to enhance counseling and therapy services for victims and their children.

    In Putnam County domestic violence remains a serious concern. According to the District Attorney’s office, one in three women is physically assaulted by a partner at least once in adulthood while 55 percent of all female homicide victims are killed by a spouse or partner.

    Ellsworth said the numbers are frightening: “My staff and I served more than 2,000 victims of domestic violence last year including women, children and men. What is most frightening is that 50 percent of all abusers also abuse their children. It is time to break the silence and stop the violence.”

    The $50,000 grant was the second received by the center from Albany within the past year. (ARTICLE)