Willow Center to expand services to meet growing need
By: Allison Norlian
ROCHESTER. N.Y. (WROC)- The Willow Center, Rochester’s safe place for domestic violence victims is announcing an 8-million dollar campaign Thursday to meet their growing need.
The center is raising money that will go towards several projects including a new state of the art shelter, bullet resistant glass display, shelter room, pet shelter, medical room, counseling rooms and a children’s play area.
The Willow Center personnel say there has been an increase in domestic violence cases, keeping their shelters at capacity with a waiting list.
Jeff Pier, the director of programs and services said the center attributes the increase in cases to more awareness about their services.
“What we’ve noticed lately is as we’re getting up ticks, it’s staying up it’s not dropping back down,” Pier said.
In 2014, the center said it received 5,000 calls for help, up from 4,600 in 2013.
“I think the behavior in domestic violence is an epidemic,” Pier said. “Its been called an epidemic by the CDC.”
The Willow Center said 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 4 children are affected by domestic violence.
In 2014 there were more domestic violence reports from suburban families, than urban in Monroe County. 51-percent suburban, 49-percent urban. This is the first time its surpassed since 2008.