The Northern Westchester Risk Reduction Team was announced in Pound Ridge Wednesday with the aim of combatting domestic violence in the area. The team is comprised of towns, law enforcement, and community agencies.
"Tragedies caused by domestic violence are often beyond comprehension, but they are real," said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. "This new initiative applies a community-based approach to three core principles - cooperation, coordination, and communication; with the goal of preventing domestic violence and providing support for its victims."
Domestic violence services in Northern Westchester had been sparse and people were less likely to seek help for fear of everyone knowing about their personal life, officials said.
The Westchester County Office for Women was awarded a $200,000 grant from the New York State Risk Reduction Enhanced Response program, which works to lower instances of intimate partner homicides, increase safety for all domestic violence victims, and hold offenders accountable.
The grant, funded by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, allows Bedford, Lewisboro, North Salem, Pound Ridge and Somers to provide additional training for police to assess domestic violence cases, known as Lethality Assessment Protocol, and a secure location in Northern Westchester where victims will have access to advocate services.
Pound Ridge Town Supervisor Richard Lyman was joined by fellow supervisors Peter Parsons of Lewisboro, Warren Lucas of North Salem and Rick Morrissey of Somers to promote the successful coordination among municipalities.
“When I contacted each supervisor and asked for letters of support for the Risk Reduction Grant, they responded immediately without reservation,” said Lyman. “I am proud to stand here with them today and look forward to their continued spirit of inter-municipal cooperation in serving our respective constituencies.”
Coordination and victim services will be provided by Hope’s Door, Inc., an organization that works to empower domestic violence victims to achieve safety, independence and healing.
CarlLa Horton, executive director of Hope’s Door, looks forward to the positive impact this program will bring to northern Westchester.
“This new collaborative pilot project will take us to the next level in identifying and supporting those most at risk of family violence and homicides in northeast Westchester,” said Horton.
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