Here is another article about things going on around Rochester.

The Willow Domestic Violence Center released its third annual Domestic Violence Report to the community to mark the start of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The report shows that Rochester’s rate of domestic violence incidents is substantially higher than rates throughout the rest of New York State. Some of the most sobering statistics in the report include:

  • 1 in 4 children in the U.S. are exposed to family violence at some point in their lives.

  • Every 9 seconds, a woman somewhere in the U.S. is physically beaten or verbally assaulted — meaning that at least 50% of women will experience physical or verbal abuse at some point in their lives.

  • In 2014, there were 4,709 reports of domestic violence in Monroe County. This means for every 10,000 residents, there were 63 reports.

  • The City of Rochester has a rate of 111 reports for every 10,000 residents, which is more than twice the rate of New York State as a whole (which measures 46 reports per 10,000 residents).

  • As many as 60% of domestic abuse perpetrators experienced violence in the home when they were children.

For the Willow Center, specifically, in 2014:

  • 5,095 calls were made to the 24/7 confidential Hotline (585-222-SAFE).

  • Court Advocates helped 2,113 victims in Rochester apply for orders of protection after a domestic abuse incident.

  • The Willow Counseling Center provided 1,800 counseling sessions to over 300 individual clients.

The rate of domestic violence in Monroe County has decreased for the third consecutive year, according to the report, but physical and verbal abuse is still all too prevalent in the Rochester metro area — even when no reports are made, as 13 WHAM News noted.

Jaime Sunders, the Chief Executive Officer of Willow Domestic Violence Center, said that the problem of domestic violence is still very clear.

“70% [of reports] never see the light of day, don’t even go through the legal system — those are still hidden in the shadows; how do we reach those individuals?” said Saunders. “The law is designed to help all parties and it can be helpful, and it can be a barrier.”

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren have both become strong advocates for domestic abuse survivors, WXXI News said, and the two women were pivotal leaders in making October the official month to raise awareness about domestic abuse in Rochester.

As the Democrat and Chronicle reported, there are currently a few pending legal cases in Monroe County which show that domestic violence isn’t just problematic for residents in the City of Rochester and surrounding suburbs — it can actually be fatal for the victims.

Charlie Tan of Pittsford is currently being tried for the murder of his father, Liang Tan; Artis Miller Jr. of Rochester is also on trial for allegedly beating his girlfriend, Twynette Ruffin of Rochester, to death on Feb. 7 of this year.

As the Willow Center has stated yet again, the causes of domestic violence are cyclical and are often affected by multiple environmental factors.

“At the root of many of our challenges — when we scratch beneath the surface — we know domestic violence is there,” said Saunders in a press conference yesterday. How can you hold a job when you’re terrified at home? How can we expect our children to succeed when they fear what is there when they get off the school bus?”

“School attendance, graduation rates, unemployment, illiteracy, poor health, poverty, teen pregnancy, sexual assault, crime — you name the community challenge, and most often family violence is lurking in the background.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call the Willow Domestic Violence Center’s 24/7 confidential hotline at (585)-222-SAFE or dial 911 in the case of a life-threatening emergency.