Domestic violence victims across New York State soon will get a text message or email once an order of protection has been served to their abusers, a move law enforcement officials say will make potentially volatile situations far less problematic, the Albany Times-Union reports. The Statewide Automated Victims Notification Network-New York (SAVIN-NY), applies only to orders of protection issued in family courts. The program, a pilot version of which has been implemented in 23 counties, should be set up across the state by the end of November, said state Supreme Court Justice Vito Caruso.
Caruso hopes that by the end of next year the system will be expanded to include orders of protection issued in criminal court. “We hope this can be a model for the entire country,” said Caruso. The alert system’s main function is to protect domestic violence victims when they are at high risk in the hours and days immediately after an order of protection is issued. During that time, those who have been handed the orders often become irate and may confront their accusers, a situation that can be dangerous, if not deadly. “It’s quite literally a lifesaver,” said Linda Frisch of The Legal Project, which provides legal aid to victims of domestic violence. There is often a small gap between when the judge grants the order of protection and when it is actually served. Currently, in counties without SAVIN-NY, this can be problematic if the person being protected is confronted by the abuser.