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domestic violence awareness month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The Link between domestic violence and problem gambling

By Press Release

Press release:

Problem gambling may not be a common topic discussed this month -- Domestic Violence Awareness Month; however, the link between domestic violence and problem gambling makes it important to bring awareness to this volatile relationship.

Domestic violence is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner, which may include physical violence; sexual, psychological, social, or financial abuse; harassment; and stalking.

A recent study of help-seeking gamblers found that 49 percent of participants reported being a victim of violence and 43 percent had perpetrated violence (Bellringer et al., 2017).

A person with a gambling problem may experience intense mental and emotional distress which may be expressed through restlessness, irritability or violence. Someone’s gambling problem may also elicit similar distress from a loved one. The person gambling may be the perpetrator or victim of domestic violence. 

Furthermore, there is already evidence that domestic violence increases during professional sporting events due to the emotions experienced from a “home team’s” upset loss, citing issues like consumption of alcohol, increased interactions with family during games, increased expectations for a positive outcome, and increased stress and anxiety.

Our community, the state and the country are seeing increased availability and prevalence of sports gambling, daily fantasy sports, and the like. What happens when those high stakes are further intensified by having large sums of money on the line, potentially for multiple sporting events? 

In many ways, this October is unlike any in the past, but some things remain constant – there are many people who will isolate themselves out of fear or shame and will not reach out for the help they need. Domestic Violence Awareness Month gives us an opportunity to offer hope to those experiencing violence in the home. 

Problem gambling and domestic violence can impact anyone. If you are experiencing domestic violence or problem gambling, confidential services are available:

  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Western Problem Gambling Resource Center: (716) 0833-4274

The Western Problem Gambling Resource Center (PGRC) is a program of the New York Council on Problem Gambling dedicated to addressing the issue of problem gambling within New York State. The vision of the PGRC is the positive transformation of lives harmed by problem gambling.

The PGRC focuses efforts on increasing public awareness of problem gambling; connecting clients with treatment, recovery and support services; working with the gaming industry to promote responsible gambling; and promoting healthy lifestyles, which foster freedom from problem gambling.

Visit to learn more about the PGRC network.  

Jeffrey Wierzbicki – Western PGRC Team Leader

Angela DiRosa – Western Program Manager

Hawley urges action, passage of 'Brittany's Law' during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Billie Owens

From Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office:

In conjunction with October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging action on a number of measures to protect victims, help those who are in danger achieve safety and security and punish those who commit this terrible crime. 

During 2017, Hawley hosted one of many statewide forums in Batavia that brought together law enforcement, victims and their family members and advocates to share their stories and discuss ways to end the epidemic of domestic violence. As a result the Assembly Minority Conference issued a full report that takes an in-depth look at the issue and legislative solutions. 

 “Domestic violence is an atrocity that leaves a trail of heartache and devastation for friends, family members and the community long after abuse has taken place,” Hawley said. “It is our responsibility this month to bring awareness to this public health crisis and help victims find safety and security.”  

Some of the recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Providing financial assistance and relief to victims seeking alternative housing or living in a shelter to escape their abuse;
  • Declaring domestic violence a statewide public health crisis;
  • Creation of a new “Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child” crime with harsher penalties for abusers;
  • Allowing domestic violence victims to obtain emergency panic buttons through local law enforcement or social services; and
  • Freeing up law enforcement to arrest more abusers and keep victims safe.

Furthermore, Hawley is renewing calls to pass Brittany’s Law – legislation supported by both Democrats and Republicans that would create a public registry for violent felony offenders.

“It is truly a disgrace that legislation like this, aimed at saving lives and preventing domestic violence, sits idly in Albany despite having bipartisan support,” Hawley continued. “Individuals sometimes become romantically involved with a partner who has a troubled past but chose to hide it.

"This bill would make violent felons known to the public so as to prevent tragedy of those close to them. I will continue to push for a vote on Brittany’s Law as we prepare for session this winter.”

WANTED: Winter coats in show of support for victims of domestic violence

By Billie Owens

WANTED: Your gently used coats, sweaters, parkas and such for women, men, boys, girls and babies, too. All humanity!

Bahama Bay Salon and Spa in Downtown Batavia is having a winter coat drive through the month of October to benefit the Genesee County YWCA.

"We are doing it to support victims of domestic violence as October has been designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month," says Shirley Puleo.

The business is located at 2 School St.

Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., closed Sunday.

For salon services, call for appointment. Phone is 345-9644.

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