One World Trade Center, Kosciuszko Bridge and Alfred E. Smith State Office Building Will be Illuminated Purple This Evening for "Wear Purple Day"
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that One World Trade Center, the Kosciuszko Bridge and the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building will be illuminated purple this evening to mark "Wear Purple Day," an initiative to raise awareness of domestic violence. The State Education Building and SUNY Plaza in Albany and the Main Gate and Expo Center at the Great New York State Fair have been lit purple throughout October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"Domestic violence is a quiet scourge that has plagued our communities for too long, and in New York we are taking action to empower survivors and put offenders on notice that they will be held accountable," Governor Cuomo said. "Illuminating these landmarks will help raise awareness of this problem and of our work to end the vicious cycle of violence that affects so many New Yorkers once and for all."
"My mother's dedication to helping survivors of domestic violence has been an inspiration to me during my time in public service," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "I am proud to be part of an administration that is leading the way in combatting domestic violence and providing victims and survivors with resources and support. We must continue to shine a light on this issue, making New York a safer place for all."
Governor Cuomo also announced the appointment of Kelli Owens as Executive Director of the State's Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, joining the agency after serving as the Governor's Director of Women's Affairs since 2017 and prior to that, Legislative Affairs Coordinator at the state Office of Children and Family Services. Before joining the administration, Ms. Owens was the Vice President of External Affairs for Family Planning Advocates/Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York. She received her bachelor's degree from Utica College of Syracuse University and has done graduate work at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
"Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State continues to be at the forefront in the fight against domestic violence," Ms. Owens said. "We have strengthened civil and criminal protections for victims, championed legislation that addresses the deadly connection between firearms and abuse and invested in programs and services to help ensure individuals can access support and assistance whenever and wherever they need it. I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead OPDV and look forward to building upon this work to improving the lives of victims and survivors."
New Yorkers who participate in Wear Purple Day today can tag @NYSOPDV and #NYGoesPurple4DV when sharing photos on their social media platforms. Each year, thousands of individuals, municipalities, organizations, law enforcement agencies, businesses, colleges and universities across the state and country show their support for victims and survivors. The State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence's toolkit also features social media graphics and other materials that can be used by individuals, agencies, nonprofits, employers and others seeking to raise awareness.
New York continues to expand its commitment to protecting victims and survivors of domestic violence. In August and September alone, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that:
- Increases the statute of limitations for civil suits related to injury caused by domestic violence to two years;
- Requires companies to allow victims of domestic violence, who are fleeing their abusers and have received an order of protection, to terminate their multi-year or bundled contract with a telephone or cable or satellite company at a location they have fled without penalty;
- Expands employment nondiscrimination protections for victims of domestic violence;
- Broadens the Social Services Law definition of domestic violence to include forms of economic abuse such as identity theft, grand larceny and coercion;
- Provides domestic violence victims the option to vote by mail-in ballot;
- Allows domestic violence victims to report abuse to any law enforcement agency in New York State, regardless of where the violence originally took place; and
- Allows victims of sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking to participate in the state's Address Confidentiality Program.
The New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (1-800-942-6906) offers help and information 24 hours a day in English, Spanish and other languages. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 711. New York State also supports and funds community-based programs, including these domestic violence resourcesand victim assistance programs, for victims of domestic and sexual violence and other crimes.
The Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has three primary areas of focus: to advise the Governor and Legislature on policies and practices for the state; to train professionals from all disciplines across the state about the intersection of domestic violence in their daily practice; and to serve as a resource regarding the issue of domestic violence by disseminating regular public awareness campaigns, publishing materials for use by non-profits and victims and highlighting best practices.