On WSBS' 'Let's Talk' program we often check in with Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington as she supplies updates on issues related to the Berkshires. One issue that we circle back to is domestic violence in our county.

On one of our chats from last year, Harrington gave us the statistics regarding domestic violence in the Berkshires which were the following at the time:

  • In Berkshire County the rate of restraining orders is 33% higher than the state average.
  • Stockbridge, Adams, Pittsfield and North Adams rank first, third, fifth and sixth in highest rates of reported rape.
  • 1 out of every 4 women will experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
  • 10 women and children have been murdered in Berkshire County in the last 5 years as a result of domestic violence.

In a recent media release that was sent to WSBS from the District Attorney, Harrington's Office recently secured jail sentences in three recent domestic violence cases. One of those incidents took place in Great Barrington.

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In an evidence-based prosecution on Thursday, Harrington's office successfully argued for the Southern Berkshire District Court to sentence Kyle Porterfield, 33, of Wyandanch, N.Y. to one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction on single counts of assault and battery on a household member, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery.

On Mar. 7, Porterfield assaulted a woman at the Holiday Inn in Great Barrington. Great Barrington Police secured surveillance video of the attack and the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office proceeded with the prosecution with that evidence.

Two other domestic violence incidents occurred where jail sentences were secured and you can read about those by going here.

 

Harrington made the following statement regarding the sentences:

These convictions reflect the commitment and dedication of my office and our partners in law enforcement to victims of domestic and sexual violence. The police departments in each of these cases did phenomenal work in investigating the crimes and protecting the victims and our prosecutors held the perpetrators accountable. These are the type of cases we are prioritizing. The majority of our dispositions during the pandemic are domestic violence cases involving perpetrators who pose a significant threat to the victim.

Often times it's difficult, for a variety of reasons including fear and not having a place to live among others, for victims to report domestic violence acts to law enforcement. Because of this, it's vitally important for us to report abuse if we are aware that it's taking place. As the saying goes "if you see something, say something."

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