Leaders speak out against domestic violence

ELIZABETHTOWN Government officials and community activists alike spoke out against domestic violence at an annual Day of Remembrance Oct. 7. More than 50 people gathered on the lawn of the Essex County Government Center as victims were remembered and their advocates were honored. The support that the law enforcement agencies give to our office help us to be able to effectively prosecute the perpetrators of domestic violence, said District Attorney Julie Garcia. Garcia praised Sen. Elizabeth Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) for helping institute a new law which redefines the term family in terms of domestic violence lawsuits. The law allows lawsuits to be filed in cases where couples are living together, but not necessarily married. She also thanked county board chair Cathy Moses for providing cell phones, which are then reprogrammed to dial 911 and given to victims of domestic violence. Molly Nichols was recognized for her service as a domestic violence caseworkers. It wasnt so long ago when domestic violence was the nasty little secret within families, said Sayward. We have to speak out. We have to be willing to change our laws, which we have been trying to do. With the help of our law enforcement, our agencies, our government, and all the people in our court system, we have made it an issue. We have made it a crime, said Little. The Clothesline Project was on display with multi-colored t-shirts stating anti-violence messages. Victims of domestic violence in Essex County were memorialized with white wooden blocks spread around the lawn. County Clerk Joe Provoncha presented a resolution from Gov. David Patterson, naming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Moses presented a similar resolution from the Essex County Board. The AuSable Valley Jazz Choir was on hand to sing The Star-Spangled Banner and Wind Beneath My Wings. Its so nice to see the young people here today, said Sayward, you are the ones who are going to make the biggest difference by understanding and knowing that its wrong.

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