Post Content

A Message from Kathleen Betts, Assistant Secretary, Office of Children, Youth, and Families:

Did you know that 4,418 adolescents and adults are sexually assaulted across our Commonwealth each year?  This month, I proudly listened to Governor Deval Patrick proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  According to data collected by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, 1 out of every 6 women and 1 out of every 33 men in the US report being victims of rape in their lifetime.  And while it is critical to raise awareness, we also know that words alone are not enough.  We need to act.  This crime affects people from all racial, cultural, educational and economic backgrounds, and sexual orientations and it will take all of us to stop it.

In cities across Massachusetts, there is a growing force of young people on our college campuses and in high school hallways who are stepping up to promote healthy relationships.  We were fortunate to have one such group of young adults join us at this month’s Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence meeting:  Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships — a program through the Boston Public Health Commission that is focused on preventing teen dating violence.  Through peer mentorship, community education and creative media these young men and women are working to create environments that support healthy relationships and ensure that sexual and dating violence is not tolerated.

As we work to ensure that all women, children and men can live free of fear of sexual assault, I encourage all residents in the Commonwealth to take this month especially to join me in speaking out against sexual violence and raising awareness in your community.

If you’re a survivor of sexual assault, there are resources available in Massachusetts to help. Click here for more information.

start_strong

 

Written By:


Assistant Secretary, Office of Children, Youth, and Families

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Children, Youth, and Families

Communications Director, Executive Office of Health and Human Services


Communications Fellow

Tags:

Recent Posts

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month posted on Apr 19

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services is proud to support Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month (HDM). Led by the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care*, HDM is a month-long public awareness campaign promoting   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month

A Focus on Disparities for National Public Health Week – Infant Mortality posted on Apr 7

A Focus on Disparities for National Public Health Week – Infant Mortality

By almost every measure, Massachusetts is one of the healthiest states in the nation. In fact, the United Health Foundation’s Health Rankings Report recently ranked Massachusetts the second healthiest state, behind only Hawaii. Among the findings, we ranked #1 in Senior Health and #1 in Women   …Continue Reading A Focus on Disparities for National Public Health Week – Infant Mortality

MassHealth moving forward in transitioning toward Accountable Care Organizations and investing in Behavioral Health and Supports for individuals with disabilities under innovative 5-year waiver posted on Mar 29

Massachusetts Secretary for Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders announced the next steps in the MassHealth program’s transition from the current fee-for-service system towards coordinated and integrated care to improve members’ health and contain costs under its innovative five-year 1115 waiver. The MassHealth program is   …Continue Reading MassHealth moving forward in transitioning toward Accountable Care Organizations and investing in Behavioral Health and Supports for individuals with disabilities under innovative 5-year waiver