CANTON -- According to the U.S. Department of Justice, about 1.3 million women are victimized by domestic violence every year.
Here in St. Lawrence County, 1,855 complaints of domestic violence were reported to State, County and Local police agencies in 2012. An average of 700 women and children receive services from local domestic violence agencies yearly.
In recognition of "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells wants domestic violence victims to be aware of two potentially life-saving victim notification programs offered by the Sheriff’s Office through the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Inc.
The first is the Family Court Order of Protection Notification Project SAVIN-NY (Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification), which allows domestic violence victims to register at www.savin-ny.org to be notified by phone, text message, or e-mail when a Family Court Order of Protection has been served. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The second is the New York Sheriffs’ Victim Hotline - VINE® (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), which allows crime victims to register at www.vinelink.com or toll-free at 1-888-VINE-4-NY to be notified by phone or e-mail in the event of an offender’s release from jail or prison. This service is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Victims of domestic violence often need the kind of timely information that the VINE and SAVIN-NY provide. Both programs provide registered crime victims with critical information when they need it most. This access empowers domestic violence victims to gain a greater degree of control in their lives and to make informed decisions about their safety,” said Sheriff Kevin Wells.
“It’s time to speak out and say NO MORE to domestic violence in our community,” said Ilene J Burke, executive director of Renewal House. Renewal House is St. Lawrence County’s domestic violence and sexual assault agency providing 24-hour crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, personal and legal advocacy, safe housing, educational programming and information and referrals. During the month of October, Renewal House has information tables on display at the St. Lawrence County Court House and at the Department of Social Services for the community to learn more about domestic violence and the services they offer.
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Inc. was established in 1979. The mission of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Inc. is to assist New York’s Sheriffs in the advancement of education in the criminal justice community, to prevent juvenile delinquency, to develop lawful and productive citizens, and to support victims of crime and their families.
For more information about 2013 National Domestic Violence Awareness Month or to learn more about the New York State Sheriffs’ Institute victim notification services, contact Sheriff Kevin Wells and staff at 315-379-2365 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.