Each year in New York State, police agencies receive over 400,000 calls to help victims of domestic violence. In 2014, the New York State Police from Troop B (which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties) investigated a total of 2,378 domestic incidents. These incidents range from verbal arguments between parties, to assaults, strangulations, damaging of property, threats of harm, and child endangerment.
The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as a variety of behaviors or tactics that are used to control another person in an intimate relationship. It can include physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse, and is perpetrated by one person against their intimate partner. Domestic violence can also be perpetrated by a member of the same family or household and is perpetrated by abusers from all social groups.
There are programs that offer services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including counseling and emergency shelter for victims and their children. Information about those programs is available via New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence website and the New York State Office of Victim Services.
There are also ways you can help victims of domestic violence throughout the year and spread the message that violence will not be accepted. You can donate a cell phone, make donations of clothing and toiletries to a shelter, or volunteer your time at domestic violence programs. You can find suggestions for ways to help here.
Victims involved in a violent relationship can contact law enforcement or 911 immediately for assistance. The New York State Police have a Crime Victim Specialist assigned in each area it operates who work with police and local crime victim service agencies to help meet the needs of victims. Some of the services provided include: crisis intervention, short-term counseling, safety planning, and criminal court procedure information. Specialists also assist victims with finding available services, and completing victim compensation paperwork.
The Troop B Crime Victims Specialist is Molly Nichols who can be contacted in person at Troop B Headquarters in Ray Brook, or by calling (518) 897-2000.