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County Government Highlights Domestic Violence Awareness with Two New Efforts

Published: 10/16/2012

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie, NY…  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Dutchess County.   To continue to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence, Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced two efforts this week highlighting the issue of domestic violence including County Government participation in “Wear Purple Day” on Wednesday, October 17th and a “Domestic Violence Awareness in the Workplace” training session for County Government managers and supervisors on Friday, October 19th.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, education, and even gender.  Although domestic violence generally occurs at home, the impact of the crime often carries over to the workplace in many ways.   As one of Dutchess County’s largest employers, we want to educate our workforce on domestic violence awareness and provide the necessary resources to help victims break the cycle of violence.”

On Wednesday, October 17th, Dutchess County Government will “wear purple” to help generate discussion and awareness of domestic violence and dating abuse.    County Executive Molinaro is encouraging County Government employees to wear purple as part of a statewide effort led by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Domestic violence prevention programs have been using purple to promote awareness of domestic violence for many years. Even the Dutchess County Government website,, will wear purple on Wednesday, with purple running through the graphics of the website homepage.

Domestic violence is a safety and health issue with medical, emotional, personal economic and professional consequences for victims and can even impact victims’ co-workers and their workplace environment.   Studies have found domestic violence victims experience impaired work performance and often require more time off than employees who are not abused.   The emotional impacts of domestic violence, including depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, can all adversely affect employee productivity.

Employers play an important role in connecting victims to assistance and addressing the workplace impact of domestic violence.  On Friday, October 19th at 1pm in the Legislature Chambers, nearly 60 Dutchess County Government department heads, managers and supervisors will participate in a training session designed to better identify victims of domestic violence and direct them to the appropriate services they need.    County Executive Molinaro and Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Rob Rolison will begin the training session with introductory and opening remarks. The training will be conducted by representatives from the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and will include local service providers: Grace Smith House, Family Services and House of Hope.

“This training session is an important way to help increase awareness of domestic violence and connect victims with the resources they need to stop the violence.  We hope other employers will follow County Executive Molinaro’s lead and commit to domestic violence awareness in their workplaces,” said Renee Fillette, Executive Director of the Grace Smith House, who helped coordinate the training for the County.

“Our county employees are our most valuable assets.   We want to assure our employees a safe and supportive workplace environment and assist victims of abuse in getting the help they need. We hope training programs like this will become the norm for employers throughout Dutchess County until domestic violence is no longer an issue in our community,” said County Executive Molinaro.