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Natalie Merchant Joins NYS To Combat Domestic Violence

WAMC photo by Joshua Natoli

Recording artist Natalie Merchant appeared with anti-domestic violence advocates at WAMC’s Performing Arts Center The Linda Wednesday to promote a new public service announcement and video series on domestic violence awareness.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Hotlines across New York State received more than 25-thousand calls in 2012. New York is kicking off a public education campaign entitled  “Don’t Do Nothing,”  to encourage those who “see something” to “say something.”

One Billion Rising is a worldwide movement to stop violence against women. Natalie Merchant, a solo recording artist formerly of 10,000 Maniacs who has supported WAMC with benefit concerts, told the Linda audience she attended a One Billion Rising event in the Hudson Valley that convinced her to take a stand in the fight against domestic violence. She met Gwen Wright , the executive director of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (www.opdv.ny.gov), at the event.

Merchant is now spokeswoman for  “Don’t Do Nothing.” 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo  encourages New York’s domestic violence victims to register to receive alerts for when Family Court orders of protection are served through the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification Network (SAVIN) system, which instantly notifies victims with information that is crucial to enhancing their safety.

Additional information and frequently asked questions about the SAVIN program can be found at www.savin-ny.org.

SAVIN uses the technology that powers NY-ALERT (www.nyalert.gov) to send notifications of service to domestic violence victims 24 hours a day, seven days a week via text message, e-mail, fax and automated phone call. SAVIN recently expanded to Manhattan and Staten Island with additional boroughs to be added in the coming months. It is available in all counties outside of New York City.

 New York State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906. The multi-language hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance to victims.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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