How is domestic violence being addressed today?

Violence Against Women Act was passed 20 years ago

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GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There has been more awareness since the initial act, but there are still about a dozen domestic homicides a year in Massachusetts alone.

About 20 years ago, the initial Violence Against Women Act was passed to improve advocacy, services, and support for all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Northwestern DA’s office uses some of the funding from that act. Mary Kociela, the Director of Domestic Violence Programs, told 22News, “The funds have allowed us to create some team and collaboration together with law enforcement and advocacy and the courts. The more we work together the more we’re able to keep offenders accountable and protect victims.”

The New England Learning Center for Women in Transition or NELCWIT has been helping women, children and men with domestic crisis for 38 years. Cheryl Rogers, the Executive Director of NELCWIT, said, “Our primary role is to let them know exactly what’s available in this county and with more information about the options and the resources and hopefully they will be able to figure out what is the best option for them to pursue.”

Over 600 survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault have been helped through the New England Learning Center for Women in transition and every year about 1,000 people call during a time of crisis.

Teresa Dona Tere of the NELCWIT is one of the faces behind the crisis line. She said, “Getting a woman a shelter or getting a woman to housing or getting a woman services from different service agencies is just a very rewarding experience.”

Click Here to find helpful information for a domestic crisis.

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