The Herkimer County Legislature on Wednesday announced the county office buildings will be “bathed in purple lights” on October 17 to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The county is joining the statewide Shine the Light on Domestic Violence campaign, which encourages public, private and nonprofit entities to raise awareness about the issue by embracing the color purple — the symbolic color of domestic violence awareness.
“It is important to highlight the issue of domestic violence awareness by issuing proclamations and shining the purple light on our buildings,” said legislature Chairman Vincent Bono, R - Schuyler.
All New Yorkers are asked to wear purple on Wednesday, Oct. 17, to generate discussion and awareness of domestic violence. Additionally, the campaign, spearheaded by the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, asks for purple lights to be shined on buildings and other structures in communities and for civic organizations to sponsor awareness events. In 2011, more than 425 organizations and individuals across the state participated in the Shine the Light campaign.
During Wednesday’s quarterly county legislature meeting, the county District Attorney’s Office and the Domestic Violence Program of Herkimer County Catholic Charities were presented with proclamations for the work the offices do in dealing with the issue.
“We are proud to stand with our district attorney, local law enforcement, our Department of Social Services commissioner and the Domestic Violence Program of Herkimer County Catholic Charities to declare our commitment to the fight against domestic violence,” said Bono.
Jackie Ward, director of the county Domestic Violence Program, said the program’s 24-hour hotline received approximately 1,300 calls last year, resulting in about 150 new cases. She also said the residential program sheltered 42 women and children throughout the year.
“The more awareness we can raise about the issue of domestic violence, the more it will help put responsibility where it belongs — on the perpetrator. We’re talking about those individuals who choose to use violence against a partner or family member,” said Ward.
She said anyone in an abusive relationship can contact the program at 866-0458.