Executive Director of the Crime Victims Assistance Center, Raini Baudendistel is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up to talk about how the group can help during what are difficult times for families under stress.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Normally, CVAC is in preparations for Crime Victims Rights Week in April.  While marking the date is still important, the agency is keeping focus on its mission to assist victims of crimes and prevent incidents like domestic violence in the region.

Baudendistel says it's understandable that individuals and families already under stress are being pushed to the brink with the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, changing job status and dealing with different family dynamics.  She offers some advice on being able to step back and diffuse tense situations before they get out of control.

The agency offers counseling and other assistance to victims of all crimes in Broome and Chenango Counties as well as educational programs, child advocacy, a Safe Harbour for victims of youth trafficking and a 24-hour hotline.

While one of the centerpieces of the local observance of Crime Victims Rights Week, the memorial wall set up at the Oakdale Mall, may not happen this year, Baudendistel says its important to always remember the real people in the region who have lost their lives due to violent crime, no matter how long ago those incidents happened.

If you need help, you can reach the Crisis Line at (607) 722-4256.  The office can be reached at (607) 723-3200.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.