October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so it's an important time for us to stop and consider this very, very serious crime and the terrible damage it causes to thousands of women and families throughout the city.
For too many women, the home-the one place that above all else should be a haven of safety-is a place of fear, intimidation and danger, where they experience less freedom and feel less protected by the law than they do in the world outside. Nationwide, four women die every day of domestic violence. That's 1,400 women a year. Nearly 2 in 3 female victims of violence are related to or known by their attacker.
Here in New York City, the problem is equally serious. Police arrest thousands of alleged abusers. Our local, 24-hour domestic violence hotline received 84,000 calls in 1998. When a person is victimized, whether it's on the street, in a school or in the home, we should all react with outrage and sorrow-and we should work together on a strategic response that will protect others from harm.
That's been our approach to domestic violence since 1994. We've brought what was once considered a private matter out from behind closed doors. Now, we have to go further. That's why we're working to make the Mayor's Commission to Combat Family Violence a permanent part of City government, formalized in the New York City Charter. You can make that possible by voting "Yes" on November 2 for Charter Revision.
Still, no matter what happens, New York City will, for the first time ever, have had both the Yankees and the Mets in the playoffs… we'll have experienced something very, very special, something that few cities in the world have ever been fortunate enough to experience.
Former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti said that the game of baseball is designed to break your heart. He said, "The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." That sentiment may be true in other cities, but this year in New York, no baseball fan has been left to face the fall alone. This season, our hearts aren't being broken… they're being lifted up by two great teams and their dreams to face off in a subway series. This is Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Go Yankees! Go Mets!
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