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In Honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month
(Hauppauge, NY) County Executive Bellone was joined by domestic violence awareness advocates for the unveiling of a newly established repository of information associated with reported domestic violence incidents. Prior to the creation of this database, data collection regarding alleged and proven domestic violence incidents were recorded in isolated data ‘silos’, across various municipal and state departments and advocacy agencies. The Suffolk County Information Technology Department, in collaboration with the Suffolk County working group to prevent family violence, has created this database which will allow data sharing among Suffolk County public and private agencies in an effort to create a more comprehensive understanding of domestic violence and assist with developing strategies to reduce the occurrence of domestic violence across Suffolk County.
“I am pleased that the various agencies serving victims of domestic violence throughout Suffolk County now have a centralized repository of information pertaining to domestic violence incidents,” said County Executive Bellone. “This database lays a path toward greater understanding of the problem areas and trends of domestic violence across Suffolk County and can further serve as a catalyst to create solutions that will substantially reduce such violence over the long-term.”
During the month of September, 1,070 incidents were entered into the database providing much needed information pertaining to alleged and proven domestic violence incidents. The database provides demographic information inclusive of primary language spoken, towns and hamlets where incidents took place, the victim’s relationship to the offender and ethnic background among many other demographics. This information is vital to addressing the trends of domestic violence in Suffolk County and providing the basis for where resources are needed to assist advocacy agencies.
“It is important for the domestic violence not-for-profits and government agencies to work together in order to best serve and protect the residents of Suffolk County,” said Jo Anne Sanders, Executive Director of the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (SCCADV) “The SCCADV has partnered with Suffolk County for over three decades and today we provide a 24 hour hotline with a translation service, shelter, police and court advocacy, counseling, and prevention through education.”
“The information from the database will help the Victims Information Bureau and the other domestic violence agencies to effectively plan for the needs of victims of domestic violence in the days to come,” stated Pamela Johnston, Executive Director of the Victims Information Bureau. “We are especially pleased that the County Executive’s office was able to create such a database tool that completely protects the confidentiality of the people we serve. We wish to thank the County Executive and his staff for their efforts.”
Laura Ahearn, L.M.S.W., Executive Director of the Crime Victims Center at Parents for Megan’s Law applauded County Executive Bellone for implementing this initiative. “County Executive Bellone recognized the effectiveness of employing intelligence driven policing to combat crime in Suffolk County. The Domestic Violence Database is a logical extension that will focus and enhance victim services resources, and ultimately reduce the incidence of domestic violence in Suffolk County.”
“With the incidence of Domestic Violence in Suffolk County forever increasing, we applaud County Executive Steve Bellone’s Administration for taking the lead in creating a data base that is designed to capture actual occurrences County wide, said Aileen Fitz-Executive Director of Brighter Tomorrows. “Input from the Suffolk County Domestic Violence Agencies, Law Enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office on a monthly basis will provide the County and the residents of Suffolk with a clear picture to this public crisis. This is truly a joint effort in the battle against domestic violence and is refreshing in its approach.”
“The lack of adequate data and documentation about domestic violence in particular, reinforces governments’ silence. In the absence of concrete data, governments have been able to deny the fact of, and their responsibility to address the complex problem that represents domestic violence,” said Martha Maffei, Executive Director of Sepa Mujer. “I applaud the responsibility and initiative of the County of Suffolk to bring together domestic violence agencies and organization that had been working with domestic violence issues for years. A major knowledge of the numbers of victims and people suffering domestic violence, we will be in the capacity to address the problem but also we will able to inform and create awareness about domestic violence as a social problem and responsibility of everybody.”
“After years of struggle with a strategy around collecting domestic violence statistics, today we finally embark on a new era that will promote a spirit of collaboration, innovation, and connection. We thank the County Executive for his leadership with this initiative.” Jeffrey Friedman, Executive Director, The Retreat.