The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

August 18, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 18, 2012

Daily Star

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Seward has helped fight domestic violence

Domestic violence has, and continues to be, a serious threat to the well-being of families in our community, and has effects reaching much farther than the confines of the home. As prevalent as domestic violence is in our society, other threats to public health often receive more attention. From 2003 to 2010, state police, Norwich City Police and Chenango Sheriff's Deputies filed a combined total of 4,753 domestic incident reports. That is an average of almost 600 reports of family violence a year for these three police agencies alone, and this excludes local police department responses.

Violence in the family results in more than visits to the emergency room and police departments; emotional and psychological damage from violence hurts victims, especially children, long after cuts and bruises heal. These families need help and support, and our Crime Victims Program offers assistance as long as is needed. Our services are free, and as such our program depends on support from state and local government to keep our doors open.

As funding cuts and fiscal instabilities nationwide threaten not-for-profit programs, it reassures us when we have representatives in our state that work to protect communities from devastating issues like domestic violence. We applaud Sen. James Seward for being one such advocate in our state government. Sen. Seward's recent allocation of additional funding for our domestic violence program in the 2012-13 state budget will help us continue to reach those that need our help and have nowhere else to turn.

On behalf of our agency and the families of Chenango County, we thank Sen. Seward for being a voice for families that may otherwise be unheard, and for being a champion in the right to end the harm domestic violence causes.

Robin Beckwith

New Berlin

Beckwith is the executive director of Catholic Charities in Chenango County.