Did you know that each year the Stillwater Police Department collects and distributed cell phones for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to use as 911 phones. In fact, they’ve distributed more than 3,500 phones since 2003! They also host a press conference each October to raise awareness about domestic violence. When I asked Sergeant Ray Cordani what makes the department go to all this effort he said one of the most honest, eloquent and heartfelt responses I’ve ever heard,
“ Hardly a shift goes by that we don’t get called to a domestic dispute. This is a really big problem and it’s not going away. People that are supposed to respect each other and love each other are hurting each other… and they’re doing this in front of the kids. It’s heartbreaking. We all need to work together to stop this”
Why is a cell phone so important to a survivor of intimate partner abuse?
An abuse survivor never knows what the abuser is thinking? Even after leaving the relationship, the victim lives in fear each moment of the day of being attacked. Fear that when walking to the grocery store, when picking the kids up from school, when sleeping at night-- that the violence that was left behind will return… without warning. Having a cell phone gives a survivor a sense of safety that help can be summoned in an emergency. It’s the peace of mind needed to begin rebuilding a life.
So how can you help?
1) Donate your used cell phone, charger and accessories to the drive. The Stillwater Police Department and local businesses are collecting phones for distribution.
2) Show your support by attending the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event on Wednesday October 26, 2011 at 10:00am at the Stillwater Area Community Center located on Palmer Street in the Village of Stillwater N.Y.