OCO News

OCO’s SAF Program Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month with #Every1KnowsSome1 Campaign

Each year in October, advocates, survivors, and supporters recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). More prevalent than most realize, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socioeconomic status, can be a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, #Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.


Domestic violence thrives in silence. “Having informed conversations about domestic violence requires understanding what it is and that it’s much more than physical abuse,” said OCO SAF Coordinator Stacie France. “Unhealthy and abusive behaviors often begin before abuse becomes physical. Abusers use emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, intimidation, extreme jealousy, and other controlling tactics to establish power and control over their partners or family members.


Domestic violence doesn’t always leave visible bruises, France continued. “It can bruise your credit, financial wellbeing, and your mental and emotional state. Nearly half of individuals experience emotional/psychological abuse from an intimate partner.” Additionally, if someone is being abused, ‘just leaving’ is easier said than done. In fact, it’s dangerous. There are many barriers preventing someone from leaving an abusive relationship or abusive home. Survivors are most in danger when they are trying to leave or soon after they have left.”


OCO’s Services to Aid Families (SAF) program is the sole domestic violence and rape crisis provider for Oswego County. SAF provides both residential and non-residential services to victims and survivors via the 24/7 Crisis Hotline and in person. In 2021, SAF served almost 600 survivors, answered nearly 4,500 hotline calls from survivors, and provided 1,700 bed nights to 65 families staying at their domestic violence shelter. The need for services to continues to grow. Hotline calls come in daily, and advocates continue to work tirelessly to meeting growing needs of survivors and their children.


SAF will be offering trainings to community providers throughout the month and raising awareness on social media. Follow SAF on Facebook and Instagram to participate and share information to help spread awareness. SAF will also have their “Silent Witness and Survivor Flag Display” at various locations in the county, including at Cayuga Community College in Fulton. The red figures in the display represent individuals who have lost their lives at the hands of an abuser and those that suffer in silence. The purple flags represent the nearly 600 survivors SAF served in 2021. Finally, community members are invited to participate in National Wear Purple Day on Thursday, October 20th. Wear something purple and post your pictures on social media using the hashtags #OswegoWearsPurple and #PurpleThursdays.


“As a community, we all have a role in changing the narrative about what domestic violence is, to whom it happens, and how we can support those who are experiencing it, and ultimately, prevent it entirely, added France. “Everyone knows someone who is impacted by domestic violence, and everyone has a part to play in supporting the work to end domestic violence. Survivors are not alone. They deserve support and resources and our pledge to the community is SAF will continue to provide inclusive services to anyone who is in need.”


If you, or someone you know, is a victim or survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, stalking, elder abuse, or trafficking, please call the Crisis Hotline at (315) 342-1600. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and is free and confidential.


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