(Written by Ashley Ryan)

The Crime Victims Assistance Center is raising awareness during October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Speaking on the weekly, local public affairs program, The Southern Tier Close Up, CVAC director Raini Baudendistle talks about ways to support Domestic Violence Awareness Month, how to read the signs of domestic violence, and what options you have if you or someone you know may be in an abusive situation. There are various red flags and ways to help, but Baudendistle says the best way to help a victim of domestic violence is to offer assistance and support.

Baudendistle says that when talking about domestic violence, people think automatically of the physical aspect of abuse, but there is a lot more to it. Domestic violence isn’t limited to intimate partners, as it can come from any other family member also. A common misconception about abuse is that it only happens to women. While 1 in 4 women will be victims in their lifetime, 1 in 7 men will as well.

When asked why victims will not leave the situation, Baudendistle says many factors may prevent them from doing so. Financial ties, children with the abuser, and the mindset that “most of the time things are good” are all ways that can stop a victim from leaving their current situation.

Local agencies are currently exploring what can be done to raise the awareness, meanwhile victims looking for assistance can call the crisis line for CVAC at 607-723-3200. More information can also be found online at www.cvac.us.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Sunday at 6 am on 99.1 The Whale.