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The information is provided in English and Spanish.'' Historically, agencies in Westchester have certainly been cooperative,'' Dr. '' But this brings a new integration and provides a centralized, one-stop single point of entry into the system.'' Addressing the problem from another angle, experts in domestic violence are working with medical professionals to improve detection and treatment. Watson of My Sister's Place and other advocates are working with Oxford Health Plans, the managed-care company, to train doctors to identify patterns of abuse and refer victims to resources and programs.
Earlier this month, a delegation traveled to Albany and, among other things, asked legislators to lower the definition of physical injury required to be classified as felony assault.
Further, they asked lawmakers to draw up a comprehensive anti-stalking law.
In addition, the Northern Westchester Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence recently moved to larger quarters, which can house 16 women.
Together, the two shelters have nearly doubled the number of beds and cribs for battered women and their children over the last year.
Richard Petrucci, medical director of the north-metro region of Oxford Health Plans in Westchester in White Plains.
Also new in the county is an alliance called Stand Together, which was formed by six social service agencies in an attempt to unify the patchwork of services available to families coping with violence.
Collaborating are Family Service of Westchester, the Guidance Center, the Mental Health Association of Westchester, Victims Assistance Services and Westchester Jewish Community Services. Carolyn Hedlund, chairwoman of the alliance, said that because there were so many issues that need to be addressed with each victim of domestic violence, no single agency could provide all the necessary services.
They provide similar services and do so both in Spanish and English. Watson said she was hoping to increase her staff to reach out to abused Asian women and to deaf women.
Advocates for battered women have also been lobbying state legislators on the issue.
She is, for example, what she calls ''very territorial,'' which she said means that she is waging constant war on ''space invaders.'''' I hate people on subways and buses who touch me unnecessarily,'' she said, ''who read newspapers over me, the edges fanning my face, and who sprawl across more than one seat.'' And she has no kind words for men and women who walk on the wrong side of the street, and cars and taxis that stop in crosswalks, forcing pedestrians to detour around them.