Some of VIP's current campaigns include "No Means No," which describes how to handle a possible date rape situation by being proactive; "There are no Bystanders," offering information on how to prevent rape on another person; and "Break the Silence," a celebration of surviving and an honoring of those who lost their lives to domestic violence. On Thursday, OFO will present "In Her Shoes," an interactive simulation that includes scenarios from the real lives of women with abusive partners. (The event is open only to those who have registered in advance.)
Part of VIP's mission means being there to help victims of abuse in all its forms.
“'Intimate partner violence' is a term that covers many different scenarios, from gay partners to boyfriend and girlfriend situations,” said Will Rivera, program manager for Opportunities For Otsego’s Violence Intervention Program. “Abuse comes in many different forms. There is financial abuse, where one partner withholds information and access to the household budget and tries to control the other partner by not allowing access to money or activities. This goes along with trying to isolate the victim. The person abusing is making it clear he is in charge and if things don’t go his way, the abuse can get more intense."
Rivera was quick to note that, despite his use of the male pronoun, domestic violence isn't limited to male-on-female crime.
"I say he, but it doesn’t always have to be a male perpetrator," Rivera said, "although it is a male more often than not.”
During October, OFO has invited area businesses to "paint" their business purple and display a purple ribbon to show support for those who have survive domestic violence. In addition, these business display information about the Violence Prevention Programs available.
Rivera said he gave out strings of purple lights, purple ribbons and an information flyer with a bar code to dozens of businesses in Oneonta, including The Green Earth.