Multiple forms of domestic abuse plague Chenango

CHENANGO COUNTY – Domestic violence is a serious issue in Chenango County and Catholic Charities of Chenango County is one of the biggest agencies that provides assistance, guidance and education to victims and their families.

According to 2013 statistics reported to the NYS Division of Criminal Justice services, 235 domestic violence victims – 117 females, 39 males, and 79 other family victims – were reported in Chenango County. The incidents range from aggravated assault and simple assault to sex offense and violation of protection order. However, those statistics do not account for the large number of unreported occurences of domestic abuse.

“A lot of domestic violence goes unreported,” said June Georgia, Community Education/Victim Advocate of Catholic Charities of Chenango County (CCCC). “People don't report domestic violence because they are afraid that the abuser will find out ... If the victim tells, and the abuser finds out, it could make it physically and emotionally worse for them.”

While many might equate domestic violence to a wife or girlfriend receiving a black eye, Georgia explained that victims are not limited to a specific age bracket, gender, or type of violence.

“It's across all ages,” Georgia said. While more than 90 percent of domestic violence victims that use CCCC services are women, she explained that there are male victims as well. Domestic violence against male victims is generally highly underreported because of the gender stereotype that men are supposed to be strong. “There are many ways to control somebody,” Georgia said. “It's a lot like bullying.”

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