YWCA labels Gordon's comments about fiancée as 'victim-blaming'

Dave Gordon is running for the Oneida County executive seat held by Anthony Picente.

Posted: Feb 14, 2019 2:00 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2019 6:09 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- The YWCA on Thursday addressed candidate comments they say qualify as victim blaming, made by Dave Gordon.

Gordon is running for the Oneida County executive seat held by Anthony Picente.

On Monday, he held a news conference during which he fired off scathing allegations against three elected officials, but provided no proof or evidence.

During that press conference, Gordon referenced being arrested in 2017 for breaking a cell phone during a situation with his fiancée.

At that time, he made many statements the YWCA Domestic Violence Coalition says are victim - blaming.

The CEO of the YWCA held a press conference Thursday, alongside the Oneida County sheriff and undersheriff, members of the county domestic violence coalition, and representatives of the governor's office.

She calls into question a statement, among others, where Gordon on Monday suggests that his fiancée’s pregnancy hormones were to blame for his behavior.

"We were then informed that my fiancé was in fact six weeks pregnant, and concluded that a contributing factor to this one time occurrence was because of some hormonal changes,” said Gordon.  "After this, we did a lot of research, concluding that these episodes are very common in relationships when an unknown pregnancy occurs."

"The statements that were made were clearly victim blaming,” said Dianne Stancato, the YWCA CEO. “To say that someone is hormonal and that's the cause of your bad behavior.”

At the conclusion of Stancato's remarks, Dave Gordon read from a statement he says his fiancée wrote.

"I am not a victim. I am not a survivor. I am not an object that you people objectify, magnify for your political gain," read Gordon, from the piece of paper. "I find this press conference to not only be politically motivated by the friends and family organization that continue to plague our community, but also this is a motivated event to try and discredit people like my fiance."

Gordon said his fiancee couldn't be there in person to voice her opinion because she was home with their nine-month-old daughter. NewsChannel 2 left a voicemail on Gordon's cell phone, offering to meet his fiance at a convenient place, if she wanted to personally be heard. Neither responded. 

CEO Stancato didn't directly respond to Gordon. At one point during the press conference, she directly addressed all victims of domestic abuse. 

"We're here for you, regardless of your story, no matter whether it happened yesterday, last week or 50 years ago. We're here for you, whether you reported the incident or not." 

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