Sen. Fred Akshar Joins Local Organizations to Kick Off Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Announce Funding for Domestic Violence Services

(BINGHAMTON, NY) On Friday, Senator Fred Akshar joined the Crime Victims Assistance Center, the YWCA and Rise-NY to kick-off National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and “Paint the Town Purple” at the Peacemaker Stage as part of October's First Friday in downtown Binghamton.

Paint the Town Purple is a national campaign to raise awareness of and prevent domestic violence. Attendees enjoyed music, performances, painting stations and more.

Akshar was also on hand to announce over $82,000 in state funding for local domestic violence services.

The funding includes:

  • $12,143 for A New Hope Center to provide domestic violence services to the community through shelter and support.
  • $15,000 for Rise-NY to provide civil/criminal domestic violence legal services to domestic violence victims as well as including shelter, counseling and education.
  • $20,000 for YWCA to provide domestic violence services to the community, including shelter and counseling.
  • $35,000 Crime Victims Assistance Center to provide civil/criminal domestic violence legal services to domestic violence victims along with education and awareness.

 

“Our local organizations are comprised of dedicated people doing incredibly important work for our community and for victims of domestic violence,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “This cause has a profound impact on me because before I was a Senator I worked in law enforcement and I saw first-hand the devastating effects of domestic violence on children and families. I'm happy to advocate for these organizations and continue to fight for funding to help victims of domestic violence.”

Raini Baudendistel Executive Director of the Crime Victims Assistance Center, said, “We are thrilled to receive this funding from Senator Akshar! The Crime Victims Assistance Center provides services to all innocent victims of crime in Broome County and has done so for over 35 years. The Center provides preventive education, outreach to raise awareness, and provides 24-7 crisis response to victims and survivors at hospitals and police stations as needed. The Center also serves as the parent organization for both the Broome & Chenango County Child Advocacy Centers and works closely with Broome County in administering the Safe Harbour program which focuses on youth who are being trafficked/sexually exploited. The Center also offers victim-centered, trauma focused therapeutic services which are provided by four master-level clinicians. These particular funds today, allow the Center to sustain advocates who are co-located at Family Court and the Broome County Office Building to provide assistance to those individuals who are engaging in the court systems. They provide emotional support, education, safety planning, court accompaniment, and assistance with both orders of protection and victim impact statements. Thank you, Senator, for supporting the Center in its mission to respond to those in the surrounding area during their time of greatest need.”

Carole Coppens Executive Director of the YWCA said, “The YWCA is grateful to Senator Akshar for providing us with funding targeted specifically to victims of domestic violence. We will apply the funding for the women we serve who are dealing with domestic violence, specifically to provide shelter, advocacy, counseling and other services as needed.”

Nicole Barren Executive Director of Rise-NY said, “Rise is proud to provide comprehensive domestic violence services, including Broome County’s only domestic violence shelter, advocacy and counseling services, and community education. The grant from Senator Akshar through the Department of Criminal Justice Services partially funds the work of two advocates at Broome County Family Court. These advocates assist victims of domestic violence with obtaining Orders of Protection and petitioning for child custody as well as providing legal information and accompaniment to attorney and court appointments. Their vital advocacy keeps families safe and contributes to a violence-free future.”

Fran Bialy, Executive Director of A New Hope Center said, “A New Hope Center would like to thank Senator Akshar for your continued support to serve people that are harmed by those who commit acts of domestic violence. A New Hope Center is able to help fill the gaps in needs that survivors face through this support, through our sheltering program, companion animal rescue program, and non-residential domestic violence services.”