Domestic Violence Services Continue during Pandemic as Cases Rise 

BREWSTER, NY— Domestic violence is a disease of isolation, often hidden in plain sight. These crimes are not limited by socio-economic level, they occur at all levels of education or wealth. One in four women, and one in nine men, experience severe physical violence, sexual violence and/or stalking at the hand of an intimate partner. The results are injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted diseases and the necessity for victim services. Unfortunately Putnam County is not immune to this social and public health problem and in times of crisis, these crimes rise as community stress rises.  

“Domestic violence is always with us, even here in Putnam County,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We also have a strong network of resources and in critical times such as these, we pull together as a community and rise to the challenge. Our Women’s Resource Center is in full operation, still supporting their clients, new and old, despite the difficulties we all are facing.”  

It is a particularly difficult time for victims experiencing domestic or sexual violence because in many cases they are trapped at home, social distancing, with their abuser with no respite during the COVID-19 shutdown.” said Ann Ellsworth, Executive Director of the Westchester/Putnam Women’s Resource Center. “Some of them are already our clients, and others may not yet have called.”   

The Women’s Resource hotline remains fully operational despite the physical offices being closed. Staff continue to be available by phone 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as at other times by appointment. Remote services include crisis intervention, therapy, case management and victim advocacy. In-person services also continue with the emergency domestic violence shelter remaining open, fully staffed and operational, with all COVID -19 precautions in place. In addition victim advocacy services are available in person in an emergency. All services can be accessed 24/7 via the hotline number 845-628-2166.  

“We know you are out there,” Ms. Ellsworth continued. “Most importantly we want you to be safe. We all know and realize that means waiting until the right time to call. We are here when you are ready, and when that moment comes, we can help you find a safe shelter and provide support.”  

The mission of the Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center is to provide advocacy, education and services to the community in order to create a safe, supportive environment that eliminates violence against women and children, and promotes gender equality. For more information, please visit online at www.pnwwrc.org/ or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pnwwrc and on Twitter @PNWWRCNY.  

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services provided directly and through collaboration include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion www.putnamcountyny.com/health/coronavirus/; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealthny Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.