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Rye Woman Speaks Out Against Blaming Victims

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Nancy Silberkleit was among nearly 40 other Westchester women who gathered at the Westchester County Courthouse Monday to rally against published reports they say blamed Amy Friedlander for her killing last week.

Silberkleit, of Rye, said she joined the group to support domestic violence victims in general and cited a parable from Ghandi to express her thoughts on domestic violence.

"'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' I want to promote women being more vocal and not being put in a box and being quiet," said Silberkleit, 57.

The plaza in front of the courthouse was saturated with signs reading “it was not her fault” and “quit asking what she did to ‘provoke it,’ start asking why he killed her" as advocates from Hope’s Door , My Sister’s Place, and the Westchester Hispanic Coalition staged a rally to speak out against the he-said, she-said accusations flung around in the media after the Friedlander murder-suicide Monday in the family's Cross River home.

“One of Friedlander’s lawyer friends said if he killed her, he would bake a cake with a file in it and give it to him,” Hope’s Door Executive Director CarlLa Horton said of a newspaper article that she says features comments that insinuate that Amy Friedlander’s actions must have driven her husband to kill her. “This sign is a symbol saying that there can be a very public image of a victim and a very private image of an abuse and they don’t always go together.”

Police saic Sam Friedlander used a piece of furniture to murder his 46-year-old wife in their Cross Rivers home last Monday . It appears that the 50-year-old attorney then shot his two young kids and committed suicide.

Domestic Violence advocates said the homicides illustrate the need to educate Westchester families during Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October. The women came cloaked in purple, the color linked with related prevention efforts.

“This is mass murder and that’s what it should be called,” said Horton. “What we know is leaving is the most dangerous time for a victim. She had already filed for divorce. She was scheduled to appear in court. This woman was going to leave him and he clearly wasn’t going to let her go.”

The rally attendees would like to remind anyone suffering from domestic violence, that assistance, advice, and information about shelters is available via the Help Hotline at 888-438-8700.

Have you done anything to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October? Join the conversation below.

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