Awareness campaign runs April 10-16
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. announced his office will continue to be a leading resource for victims of domestic violence and their children after receiving funding for another year through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the federally funded Violence Prevention Services Act. Monies from this grant allow for an advocate to work toward improving the safety and emotional well-being of adults and children who have suffered domestic violence by providing empowerment counseling, both in-person and over the phone, to address the consequences of abuse on emotional well-being.
The announcement comes as advocates all over the country mark National Crime Victims' Rights Week from April 10-16.
"Our office is committed to helping victims 365 days a year," Flaherty said. "But we are recognizing this important week to help bring about awareness of the services available, and we thank Acting Commissioner Sheila Poole for helping us serve the victims of domestic violence."
The grant will also be used to address complex long-term issues experienced by victims of domestic violence and trauma, such as housing, employment, transportation, child care and criminal justice/legal services. These services keep the victim an active participant and decrease the chances of re-traumatization, which in turn will result in the victim's long-term safety and improved well-being and emotional health, the DA's office said.
The office is a leading provider of support to all crime victims and witnesses to help them navigate the legal system. Advocates can help explain what will happen at each step of the prosecution and help one deal with feelings he or she may experience as a result of testifying about a case. Advocates are also on call for crime victims of violent felonies who arrive at ECMC.
All of the victims' services are free and confidential. For more information, call the domestic violence hotline at 716-858-4630 or the victim/witness bureau at 716-858-4640.