OSSINING, N.Y. – For CarlLa Horton, finding domestic violence in Ossining is easy, but finding help for the victims is difficult.
Hope’s Door, a nonprofit organization that provides safety and services to more than 700 victims of domestic violence in Westchester County each year, is opening a satellite office in Ossining this week. The grand opening for the new office is set for 5:30 p.m., Thursday, at 100 S. Highland Ave. The organization, based in Pleasantville, has provided potentially life-saving services for thousands of victims and children in Westchester County.
Horton, the group’s executive director, said it was important to create a place for people in Ossining to receive more attention.
“This is going to be a tremendous opportunity to help hundreds if not thousands of people who need us near their homes,” Horton said. “We do reports every two years and Ossining has been one of the communities that has always jumped out at us with their cases.”
In 2010, 24 domestic incident reports were filed with Town of Ossining police, while in the Village of Ossining, 181 such reports were filed, an increase of 43 percent from the previous report, according to Hope’s Door records.
Several grants will allow Hope’s Door to keep the new satellite office in Ossining fully staffed.
“These are very difficult times for nonprofits, so to be able to get this kind of support is just extraordinary to us,” Horton said. “We’re overwhelmed with gratitude and we’re just getting started.”
The group is also looking to expand its services for teenagers, with plans to add an Ossining extension of the Students Terminating Abusive Relationships program. The program helps teach teens effective ways to handle conflicts in relationships and how to avoid abusive ones.
“We’re trying to work with young men and women to be strong partners to turn this around,” Horton said. “That’s really the only way we’re going to change the societal climate that we have that allows dating abuse to flourish.”
Andrea Naso Nord, Hope's Door community relations director, said the group is trying to explore other future programs to help students and adults step up against domestic violence.
“It is our hope that those suffering in silence will be encouraged by the accessibility of this new center,” she said in a news release. “If someone needs help we want them to call us.”
Those looking for help should call Hope’s Door free and confidential hotline at 888-438-8700.