Annual Report on Domestic and Sexual Violence raises community awareness

— The Syracuse Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition held its 23rd Annual Report on Domestic and Sexual Violence Tuesday, Oct. 30.

More than 100 people turned out to the Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Downtown Syracuse despite the rainy weather. The presentation included an impressive and diverse line of speakers who not only presented important statistics, but also shared their methods of outreach and plans for future change, and sometimes, even generously share their stories of survival.

Host George Kilpatrick, Vera House’s new Men’s Outreach Coordinator, said the gathering provided the community an “opportunity to reflect on where we are, the progress we have made, and the work we have left to do.”

He said that although Domestic and Sexual Violence statistics were hard to swallow, they should not be ignored.

In 2011, four people in Onondaga County lost their lives to domestic violence related homicides. During the same year, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office answered a total of 7,236 domestic and sex offense calls, but arrested only 916 domestic violence and sexual offense perpetrators.

The annual report also analyzed the response of the Syracuse Police Department going back a few years. In 2007, less than 10 percent of domestic calls resulted in arrest. In 2008, that amount rose to about 12.5 percent, and in 2009, it rose again to about 15.3 percent. In 2010, it fell to a little under 13 percent. As of last year, that number rose again to about 14.2 percent.

In 2011, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau prosecuted 749 felony arrests and 390 misdemeanor arrests between partners or ex-partners, 86 felony arrests and 37 misdemeanor arrests for child sexual abuse, and 30 felony arrests and eight misdemeanor arrests for adult sexual assault. Also, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s City Court Bureau prosecuted 1,144 misdemeanor/violation arrests between partners or ex-partners.

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