Updated 05/21/2012 07:45 PM
Officials discuss domestic violence awareness after fatal fire
Authorities say there was no history of violence with the Oney family. But domestic violence advocates are taking this opportunity to raise awareness about situations like this one and what can be done to prevent them in the future. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what officials hope the public can learn from the incident.
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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- A dispute between a husband and wife that leads to a tragic outcome. It's a story domestic violence advocates hear all too often and one they say doesn't have to happen.
"It's just a sad day. I think it just saddens us, as an agency, we work really hard to provide information and we take it personally that we weren't able to do something different for that family," said Executive Director Crime Victims Assistance Center Raini Baudendistel.
Police say there wasn't a known history of violence in the Oney's home, but they say it is a reminder that domestic violence can happen to anyone. In fact, officials in Broome County say they see more than 500 cases of domestic abuse per year.
"Clearly we must continue our efforts to reach victims, to help them be safe, to be mindful of the isolation that is so common in these situations, especially rural communities. Our efforts must include responding at each opportunity and creating opportunities for anyone, everyone to become more knowledgeable about domestic violence," said Executive Director of the SOS Shelter Rebecca Allerton.
Advocates say people should always trust their gut if they feel something is wrong in their relationship or a friend's relationship. They say there are numerous resources that people should take advantage of if they need advice or help.
"People can call our agency 24 hours a day just to talk or to ask for advice. We have counselors on staff. We have people who come in and have safety planning around life changes that might be coming around the pike to keep them safe," said Baudendistel.
Hoping to raise awareness and stop domestic violence before it happens.