WXXI AM News

child abuse

The coronavirus pandemic is having an effect on the number of calls made to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Hotline staff report that a growing number of callers say abusers are using COVID-19 as a reason to further isolate victims. Locally, calls to Willow Domestic Violence Center have increased, with victims looking for advice for how to adapt their safety plans. The center has ramped up phone counseling services and is working to address a possible increase for shelter services. Advocates for children are also expressing concerns about how physical distancing could impact children who live in abusive homes. 

This hour, our guests discuss how to help victims of all ages. Our guests:

photo provided by Deborah Rosen

Schools have been closed since Monday. On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo mandated that all non-essential travel be put to a halt, and for employees to work from home with the exemption of healthcare workers and others whose work is deemed essential. That includes Monroe County's Child Protective Services.

Deputy Monroe County Executive Corinda Crossdale says that so far there are no indications that child abuse and exploitation are increasing as social distancing requires families to stay home.

Election Day is just over three weeks away. Voters have a wide range of issues that they prioritize. This hour, our guests are asking you to think about children. In particular, they're talking about children in need in our community. We discuss funding for early intervention services and preschool special education services. We also talk about challenges for child protective services. The conversation comes in advance of an upcoming candidate forum hosted by The Children's Agenda.

Our guests make their case for the kinds of priorities they think voters and candidates should have if they're putting kids first. In studio:

freeimages.com/James Chan

Kevin Higley can't remember if it was the summer of 1987 or the summer of 1988, but he does know he was 14 years old and serving as an altar boy at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Scottsville.

He said a parish priest, Father Paul Cloonan, asked him to go with him to visit a nearby monastery.

"And in the car on the way back from the monastery, he asked me if I could help him with a medical issue," Higley said.

County blocks $2.6 million state grant

Jan 26, 2018

Monroe County recently turned down a $2.6 million grant from the state that would have helped poor parents accused of neglect keep their children. The NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services would have awarded Monroe County's Public Defender’s office the money but the County blocked the grant, saying they don’t want to protect parents’ interests at the expense of the child’s well-being.

File photo

Local supporters are reacting to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to step forward and assist child sex abuse victims.

Cuomo unveiled his 2017 policy initiatives in a book, which included a plan for the Child Victims Act. The proposal would do away with the statute of limitation on prosecutions of those who abused children.  Further, it would allow victims to bring civil lawsuits for 50 years from when their attacks took place.

NYSP

New York State Police in Waterloo tell WXXI that Angela M. Wheeler, 37, of Seneca Falls, and Michael A. Brewer, 39, of Interlaken, were charged with abusing two children.

Troopers and Seneca County Child Protective Services investigated a report of two children being subjected to physical abuse, and improper care while in their custody.

Police allege that Wheeler and Brewer subjected the children to physical abuse to include choking, as well as other forms of excessive punishment.

Child Advocacy Center Announces Major Expansion

Jul 2, 2013
www.lonowood.com

Construction is officially underway at the Bivona Child Advocacy Center's new headquarters.

The Skalny Building at 1 Mount Hope Avenue will provide children with technologically advanced facilities as well as mental and medical services. Bivona also announced the public phase of its "Building Hope" campaign, an initiative to raise the remaining $1 million of its $4 million goal to relocate and fund additional programs and services.