JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault held their 21st annual walk against domestic violence, and 16th annual Unity Day celebration, in Downtown Jamestown on Friday.
Starting at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena and ending at City Hall, the walk honored the survivors of domestic violence and remembered those who died from abuse.
Inside of City Hall, keynote speaker Kayleah Feser, Social Worker for the Center of Elder Law and Justice, discussed the impacts of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
“Domestic violence and sexual assault are violations of basic human rights, “said Feser. “They are experienced by people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations and social classes.
Feser said intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of domestic violence.
Many of the survivors of intimate partner domestic violence say it is difficult to leave abusive relationships and feel trapped.
Feser also explained the impacts of elder abuse and how it is a form of domestic violence.
“In most cases, elder abuse emergencies are out of established, dysfunctional, and violent dynamics of power and control,” explained Feser.
The social worker said that in most elder abuse cases the abuser is a close family member that the elder trusts.
Feser is a member of the MSW Center for Elder Law & Justice, as well as the Chautauqua County’s Council on Elder Abuse and Elder Abuse Enhanced-Multidisciplinary Team.
Mayor Sam Teresi declared October 2018 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the City of Jamestown. The Mayor encouraged all residents to educate themselves on the tragic implications of domestic violence and to help those affected.