GOSHEN – Fearless! Hudson Valley, Inc. recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) by hosting the annual Clothesline Project at the County’s Government Center on Monday, October 3rd.
“The County is honored to host the Clothesline Project,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “It is a very emotional and moving display, but also very important. We are here to raise awareness about domestic violence and celebrate the lives of victims, survivors, and their families. Orange County will continue to assist Fearless! and the incredible work they do with and for domestic violence victims.”
The Clothesline Project is comprised of T-shirts made by survivors of domestic violence or in honor of someone who has been a victim of violence. It not only promotes awareness, but also helps the healing process for victims and those who have lost a loved one to violence.
According to Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Executive Director of Fearless!, the Government Center is one of the best locations to accommodate the full display of more than 650 T-shirts handmade by individuals.
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 was created in 1990 by a group of women after hearing that while 58,000 soldiers died in the Vietnam War, there were 51,000 women killed around the same time by men who claimed to love them. This statistic motivated the women to create a program that would speak up an reveal the issue of violence against women.
“Every one of us plays a vital role in ending domestic violence and the commitment from Orange County government, and the community represented here strengthens our coordinated efforts,” Kostyal-Larrier said. “Today, we stood together united 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 2021, Fearless! answered 11,123 hotline calls, (an increase of 39% from 2019), sheltered 54 adults and 39 children, provided 3,833 bed nights in its emergency shelter, and served 2,458 clients and 3,009 children through all its programs. Fearless! advocates provided 21,708 Supportive Services to individual victims and survivors, creating 5,098 individualized safety plans. Fearless! advocates provided 23,276 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, 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.