domestic violence

Tianna Manon

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter will spend the next several months fighting to reauthorize a law she says contributed to decreasing rates of domestic violence.  

The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994. The law beefs up law enforcement’s ability to arrest potential abusers, provides funding for local centers and programs to give aid to the abused and offers legal protections for victims.

Reports of domestic violence in Monroe County are down for the sixth year in a row, but the rates are still higher than the state average. While there’s value in studying statistics when it comes to this issue, each report of intimate partner violence reflects how the life of someone in our community has been impacted by trauma. Victims of domestic violence suffer from visible and hidden burdens, and often find it challenging to seek help.

A new organization hopes to change that. We discuss how the HEAL Collaborative brings together social services and legal entities in our area to assist victims and their families. We also hear from survivors of domestic violence, who share their stories and discuss their road to recovery. In studio:

Local nurse Theresa Bowick is known for her work launching Conkey Cruisers, a bicycling and fitness organization. Now, she's opening up about her personal story, which moves from domestic violence, anxiety, and eventually to a quest to lose weight. She’s written a play that will be in the upcoming Fringe Festival, and she’s partnering with a Hollywood actor to raise awareness about domestic violence at the local and national levels.

We talk about the work Bowick and her colleagues are doing, and about how to help victims of domestic violence in our community. Our guests:

Dating violence is a widespread issue, and many teens who are victims of violence in relationships do not report their experiences out of fear. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the CDC, "23 percent of females and 14 percent of males who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age."

We'll discuss teen dating abuse and new initiatives that address barriers faced by survivors. Willow Domestic Violence Center is leading the way with local initiatives. It's opening a new state-of-the-art facility that includes an expanded emergency shelter, an expanded counseling center, and an onsite pet shelter.

Our guests:


ALBANY (AP) Guns were used in 195 domestic-related killings in New York from 2006 through 2014, according to an Associated Press review of FBI records. Nationally, 6,235 people were killed in such attacks, with current wives and girlfriends accounting for 75 percent of the victims.

New York's 195 killings compared with 637 in California, with a population twice as large, and with 798 in Texas, the second most populous state. The annual number in New York ranged from a low of 17 in 2014 to a high of 31 in 2007 and typically is about 20 per year.


Victims of domestic violence can qualify to sign up for health coverage outside of the regular open enrollment period. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to remind people of this during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

Nicole Greene is the Deputy Director for HHS’ Office on Women's Health. She says one reason a person would stay in a violent home is to keep health insurance for themselves and their children.

In Rochester, there are two-and-a-half times more reports of domestic violence than New York's statewide rate. Why is that? Do we have a particular domestic violence problem... or has Rochester become a leader in offering support for those who come forward? We examine the new numbers from the Willow Domestic Violence Center. And we look at how our community has made progress in protecting children -- particularly those who witness domestic violence at a young age. In studio:

  • Jaime Saunders, President & CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center (formerly Alternatives for Battered Women)
  • Jeff Pier, Director of Programs and Services at Willow Center
  • Lisa Butt, President & CEO of the Society for the Protection and Care of Children 

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide if threats made on social media are credible threats. Anthony Elonis was convicted of making threats to his estranged wife, an FBI agent. He appealed to the Supreme Court contending that under the Constitution and the federal threat statute, a jury must find not just that a reasonable person would interpret the words as threatening, but that he actually intended his words to be threatening.

So are threats on social media credible? We talk about this with Catherine Cerulli, director of the Susan B. Anthony Center and the Laboratory for Interpersonal Violence, and Scott Malouf, an attorney who specializes in evidence derived from social media.

Connections: Healthy Friday - Domestic Violence

Sep 19, 2014

The national conversation about domestic violence has been dominating the headlines since the release of the video of NFL player Ray Rice punching and knocking out his then fiance, Janay Palmer, in a hotel elevator. We discuss the definition of domestic violence, the causes, the resources, and how to create more awareness of the issue.

The Ray Rice video proves one thing, among others: the Baltimore Ravens engaged in rather horrifying victim blaming. The team promoted a story on its website earlier this summer with the headline, "Janay Rice deeply sorry for her role in elevator incident." Yes, her role. But now there are people who want to know why she's staying with this guy, and that has inspired the meme #WhyIStayed. We talk to a panel about gender-specific abuse, and why women stay.