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Shedding light on domestic violence

Albany County highlights Domestic Violence Awareness Month, services offered

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy presents a proclamation to county Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center Director Karen Ziegler on Wednesday, Oct. 2, during a kick off press conference for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy presents a proclamation to county Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center Director Karen Ziegler on Wednesday, Oct. 2, during a kick off press conference for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Photo by John Purcell.

— Domestic violence usually happens behind closed doors, but local officials say the effects have a tendency to ripple through a community.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, joined by county Chief Assistant District Attorney David Rossi, recognized the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Wednesday, Oct. 2, and honored county Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center Director Karen Ziegler for her efforts to support victims and combat violent crime.

The county’s White Ribbon Campaign event was also announced. It will occur on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Times Union Center during the Siena and University at Albany basketball games.

“It is all about education and it’s letting people know what is going on and the great work we do here in Albany County” McCoy said. “Our Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center is open every day, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

Last year, the county Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center handled more than 28,000 calls through its sexual assault hotline (447-7716). Services provided to victims included visiting emergency rooms to comfort victims, providing information and referral for services, along with advocacy.

“We want to protect our people here in Albany County, but it is about everybody. You want to make sure that someone has that safety net to fall back on,” McCoy said.

McCoy said his partnerships with District Attorney David Soares and county Sheriff Craig Apple have allowed the county to provide necessary services amid tight budgets.

Rossi said the most common thing victims of domestic violence say is, “I never thought it would go that far.” He said the family members of domestic violence homicides most often say the same thing.

There are more District Attorney’s Office staff members dedicated to cases of domestic violence than ever before, according to Rossi, but the community needs to play its part.

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