Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Mohawk Valley looks to end domestic violence

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Mohawk Valley looks to end domestic violence
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Mohawk Valley authorities say the type of domestic violence that may have played a hand in Kogut's death is far too common. As our Andrew Sorensen tells us, authorities say they hope to see an end to incidents like this by stepping up in October for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

UTICA, N.Y. -- These are just some of a long list of warning signs of domestic abuse YWCA Mohawk Valley Executive Director Natalie Brown says could escalate into something much worse.

"Verbal, verbally abusive, emotional, you know, withholding emotions or interfering with contact with family members."

"There's someone I used to work with who called and identified that she was trying to break up with somebody and they stalked her and she had to get the police involved," she said.

It can be difficult to identify and it can happen to any one of any age, sometimes with tragic consequences, like the weekend death of 18-year-old Alexandra Kogut, who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend in her SUNY Brockport dorm room.

The YWCA says they hope to end all domestic violence incidents by standing up this month.

"October is domestic violence awareness month, you'll see a lot of purple around, that's the color," Brown explained.

They are running a purple ribbon campaign, night marches called "Take Back the Night" and a forum with experts in abuse and law enforcement on ways to end domestic violence.

We want to make sure people know, one, what it is, and then where they can go for help.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office will take part in the forum, but they too are taking a hard line on domestic violence this month with a new program of surprise visits to hot spots of domestic calls.

"Locations or homes where domestics tend to occur, where we want to just show up, check on the victim to see if things are going okay, if there's other referrals that they may need," Sheriff Rob Maciol said.

Both the Sheriff and YWCA say domestic violence is under-reported, and they encourage all victims to report violence and seek out the help they need.

You can find more information about domestic abuse and services at www.nyscadv.org and more information on this month's events at www.ywcamv.org.

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