Utica, N.Y.— Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $1.5 million in federal funding would go to state-licensed domestic violence service providers for them to provide better wifi and access to mobile devices.
Oneida counties only state-licensed domestic violence service provider, the YWCA Mohawk Valley, was one of the organizations chosen to receive money from the state.
“The primary use for that money is for victims and survivors to have access to technology,” Dianne Stancato, Chief Executive Officer at YWCA Mohawk Valley said. “So for us to help them whether they need wifi or phones or anything they need to be able to contact everyone and get help, stay safe.”
Domestic violence across the country has seen an increase during quarantine as many people have been forced to stay at home all day with their abusers, and the YWCA has had a 50% increase in demand for their services.
“We had a 50% increase in demand for our services,” Stancato explained. “So in people reaching out for help in 2020 over the numbers for 2019. So a 50% increase, ok that is alarming. We might see 10% right? Or a slight increase every year, and we have seen increases every year so we have not seen a decrease, that’s sad, but this past year it has been unbelievably crazy.”
Oneida County has a high rate of domestic violence cases compared to other counties in the state as well.
“Sadly we have one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the state,” Stancato said. “The only one higher than us is downstate.”