domestic violence

According to a new report for the Council on Criminal Justice, during lockdowns, rates of domestic violence rose by an average of about eight percent in the U.S. and across the globe. The data represents people who were able to seek help.

In October, we were joined by representatives from RESOLVE of Greater Rochester and Willow Domestic Violence Center to discuss how social isolation, unemployment, and stay at home orders were impacting victims of violence and assault. We reexamine the issue now, more than a year into the pandemic. We also discuss how to help people who may be seeking help.

Our guests:

freeimages.com/Glenda Otero

In a year when New York state faces a $15 billion budget deficit and a greater demand for basic services, advocates for survivors of domestic violence say they are pleased that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also prioritizing their concerns.

Among other proposals, Cuomo said he will ask the state Legislature to make it more difficult for people who are charged with a serious domestic violence-related misdemeanor to get a gun license.


New York state has a free program that protects the location information of domestic violence survivors.

It’s called the Address Confidentiality Program, where the state provides individuals with a post office box in order to keep their physical address hidden for their safety. Starting this week, any victim of domestic violence, stalking, sexual offenses or human trafficking can apply online.

Local organizations that help survivors of domestic violence say they've seen an increase in calls for service since the pandemic began. Staff members at RESOLVE say they've seen a 40 percent increase in services as clients have been quarantined or isolated in close quarters with abusive partners.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This hour, our guests discuss how to help people suffering from domestic or intimate partner violence, especially during the pandemic. Our guests:

Willow and Deaf IGNITE announce partnership

Aug 4, 2020

Two organizations that have collaborated for several years have now announced a formal partnership to strengthen the ways this community responds to domestic violence and increase access to services and programs.

Willow Center President and CEO Meaghan de Chateauview says staff from Deaf IGNITE, which advocates for Deaf domestic violence survivors, will join Willow, so now the center can offer specialized services.

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

City of Rochester employees seeking to escape domestic violence would get paid leave under legislation approved Tuesday by City Council.

City Council unanimously passed the bill, which would allow employees to use accrued paid time off to seek shelter, attend court proceedings, receive medical care, and find counseling or any other needed service related to addressing domestic violence. Additionally, employees who do not have paid time off would be allowed to take unpaid leave, with a guarantee their job would be waiting when they return.


With reports of domestic violence in New York state up 30% in April compared to a year ago, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, there are new ways to help connect victims with the help they need.

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has launched text and chat services.

Kelli Owens, executive director of the office, said victims are even more at risk when they are isolated at home during this coronavirus pandemic.

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:

Brenda Cohen



Calls to Willow’s domestic violence hotline spiked on Friday and again on Monday. Over 40 calls came in Monday. That’s more than double the usual rate.

Meaghan de Chateauvieux with Willow Domestic Violence Center says she believes there is a strong correlation between those calls and concerns of having to stay home. 

She says her team is working to adjust to new demands to help survivors of domestic abuse amid concerns of a pandemic.

Willow Domestic Violence Center is marking 40 years of serving local families. We're joined by representatives from the Center who discuss Willow's and Monroe County's role in protecting survivors and helping them heal. We also talk about why rates of domestic violence are high -- is it due to greater awareness, better reporting, or a higher prevalence? Our guests share their data.

In studio:

  • Meaghan de Chateauvieux, president and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Phyllis Korn, founder of Alternatives for Battered Women, now Willow Domestic Violence Center 
  • Vincent Butler, social worker who worked with Alternatives for Battered Women, and founder of the organization's MEN's Program