Today the Stillwater Police Department distributed over 100 cell phones that they collected to local agencies that assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Why is this important? Because:
1) That old cell phone that sits unused in the drawer after we’ve upgraded to the new model is a lifeline for someone who lives in fear of an abuser. The ability to call 911 for assistance can literally make the difference between life and death. Each agency that received the cell phones knew of specific instances where a survivor is alive today because they were given a 911 phone.
2) Intimate partner abuse often happens at home where the only witnesses are the victim and the abuser. Thus our community often underestimates the prevalence of domestic abuse. In our day-to-day activities we tend to focus on what we see… by collecting and donating cell phones we are reminded that although we may not have seen it today domestic violence occurs at staggering rates. One in four women and one in four men are victims of domestic abuse in their lifetime.
3) Unlike the general community, law enforcement officers do see the prevalence of domestic abuse. In fact, domestic incidents are some of the most common calls they respond to. At DVRC we recognize the efforts of our local law enforcement agencies in working to end abuse. When they take that extra step to increase community awareness, they send a message that they respond to domestic abuse seriously. We thank them for the many ways they make this extra effort to promote awareness, e.g., the NYS Police and Saratoga Springs Police whose patrol cars have domestic violence awareness ribbons during October and the Stillwater Police department who have distributed over 3,500 cell phones to help victims become survivors.