GOSHEN – Last Friday, Fearless! Hudson Valley, Inc. recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month by displaying its Clothesline Project at the County Government Center in Goshen.
The Clothesline Project began in 2004, and now has over 650 t-shirts. Each t-shirt on display, created to remember a victim of domestic violence, is a visual reminder of just how serious, and deadly domestic violence is in the county.
Many attending the near-by farmer’s market could be seen “walking the line.” You could see them reading the names and messages on the shirts. The expressions on their faces spoke volumes as to what they were thinking and feeling – shocked, surprised, disgusted, and dumbfounded, then seemingly angry. One person simply shook their head as they read the shirts saying aloud, “why?”
Domestic violence statistics are alarming. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime. On average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. Since September of 2004, 25 individuals have been murdered by their husbands or intimate partners in Orange County, and two women are missing but presumed dead, according to Fearless!
“The Clothesline Project is a powerful and sobering reminder of the devastating impact that domestic violence has in our communities,” Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said.
“The project also allows us to show our support for domestic violence victims and their families. The County is honored to host this important and meaningful and moving event, and we will continue to assist Fearless! and domestic violence victims, using all of our community’s available resources and programs.”
“Every one of us plays a vital role in ending domestic violence and the commitment from Orange County government strengthens our coordinated efforts,” Executive Director of Fearless! Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier said. “Today, we stood together as one voice in support of victims and their families. This partnership creates opportunities to have significant impact on victims and their families. We appreciate all that Orange County has done, and continues to do, to help raise awareness about domestic violence.”
In 2020, Fearless! answered 10,096 hotline calls, (an increase of 26.7 percent from 2019), sheltered 37 adults and 26 children, provided 4,102 bed nights in its emergency shelter, and served 3,325 clients and 1,983 children through all its programs. Fearless! advocates provided 13,806 Supportive Counseling Services to individual victims and survivors, creating 5,714 individualized safety plans. Fearless! advocates provided 29,945 advocacy services that included court accompaniment, support with legal, social services, housing, immigration, employment, education, and economic empowerment.
Fearless! provides free therapeutic counseling, support groups, legal services, advocacy, shelter, and other forms of support to victims of domestic violence, teen dating violence and human trafficking, and gives training to agencies, schools, businesses, law enforcement, and individuals regarding domestic violence, teen dating violence, and human trafficking. If you or someone you know may be a victim, please call the Fearless! 24-hour hotline at 845-562-5340.