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YWCA reminds residents that domestic violence can have serious consequences

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County extends its heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Nicole Sheehan, a 29-year-old Batavia native who died from an apparent domestic violence shooting a week ago in Lancaster.

This tragic incident is another painful reminder that domestic violence is about so much more than arguments and debates; it can have grave consequences, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

As a gentle reminder that YWCA is here to help with Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services, the agency will be lighting its walkway this week at 301 North St. as a visual display that there is hope, Walton said. Victims can always confidentially call YWCA for guidance, help and referrals to appropriate avenues that will take them out of a potentially harmful situation and into safety.

"We ask that people join us in spirit as we light up our walkway in Nicole's memory," Walton said. "And to please help -- through your increased awareness -- those others who may be struggling with a domestic violence situation. We offer advocacy, safe housing and, perhaps most importantly, a 24-hour hotline so that everyone has opportunity to reach out for help when needed."

Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services Director Cindy Earl said there is usually a Domestic Violence Services office in each county. If you're unsure about where to turn for help or guidance, call the hotline at (585) 343-7513.

"Everybody's mission is to find a safe location for a potential victim if they think the person's abuser is going to do something harmful," Earl said. "We take them very seriously and will do everything we can to put them in a safe location."

Sometimes abuse is not evident to friends, family and coworkers, she said. If you even suspect that something like that is going on in someone's life, reach out for help. And if you are in a relationship that makes you feel threatened in any way, make the call. It's free and confidential.

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