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NYS Officials: Wear Purple On Wednesday For Domestic Violence Awareness

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, New York State officials are urging people to wear purple on Wednesday, October 16.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the declaration and encouraged New Yorkers to participate in the annual Shine the Light on Domestic Violence campaign on Wednesday.

"We will see various iconic buildings in different communities that will be lit in purple. New York City does a huge roll-out in Times Square, where the electronic billboards go purple," Gwen Wright, executive director for the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, told WCBS 880.

The Shine the Light campaign promotes using purple - a color long associated with domestic violence awareness - in creative ways to help combat domestic violence. New York State launched the campaign in 2008.

"Domestic violence is an equal opportunity problem. It cuts across all socioeconomic strata. There is no one that is immune from it, it can happen to men who are abused by their female partners, it happens in same-sex relationships, so we know that it is as widespread as the kinds of relationships that exist," said Wright.

New York is the only state in the nation to have an executive-level agency that has the sole mission of fighting and preventing domestic violence. Since taking office, Gov. Cuomo has made strengthening the state and local response to domestic violence, a crime which disproportionately affects women and children, a priority, according to a press release from the state.

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can seek help 24 hours a day by calling New York State's toll-free hotline: 1-800-942-6906.

There are also programs statewide that provide direct services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including counseling and emergency shelter for victims and their children. Information about those programs is available via the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.

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