GOSHEN – Orange County and Fearless! Hudson Valley, Inc. recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) by hosting the Clothesline Project at the County’s Government Center on Wednesday, October 11th.
“The County is honored to host the Clothesline Project,” Orange County Executive Steve 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! with their incredible work 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 promotes awareness and 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 600 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 2003, 32 individuals have been murdered by their husbands or intimate partners in Orange County, and two women are missing but presumed dead, according to Fearless!
“Everyone knows someone impacted by domestic violence. It will take each one of us to end domestic violence,” Kostyal-Larrier said. “Today, we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our county partners committed to working together.”
During the news conference, Fearless! welcomed back Eric Egeland, Vice President, and COO of Capacity Marketing, from his Fearless Adventure. Eric’s journey covered 7,448 miles, which is also the number of people Fearless! helped in 2022, raising more than $12,000 for victims and their families. Funds were raised by Egeland through the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan counties.
“We appreciate all that Orange County has done, and continues to do, to help raise awareness about domestic violence and support victims,” Kostyal-Larrier said.
In 2022, Fearless! answered 11,821 hotline calls (an average annual increase of 33 percent since 2018), sheltered 59 adults and 63 children, provided 9,716 bed nights in its emergency shelter, and served 2,818 clients and 3,618 children through all its programs. Fearless! advocates provided 21,06 Supportive Services to individual victims and survivors, creating 4,435 individualized safety plans. Fearless! advocates provided 27,716 advocacy services, including court accompaniment, support with legal social services, housing, immigration, employment, education, and economic empowerment.
The Fearless! mission is to build an informed, just, and accountable society so all people can experience supportive and safe relationships free from abuse, exploitation, and oppression. They do this through education, prevention, advocacy, and providing comprehensive services, including shelter, to victims and survivors of interpersonal violence, human trafficking, sexual violence, and other types of crime victimization. If you or someone you know may be a victim, please call the Fearless! 24-hour hotline at 845-562-5340.