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.
Executive Office Approves New Leaders for Elder Affairs, Transitional Assistance posted on Apr 22
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services recently announced appointments in two key positions – the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Department of Transitional Assistance. We are pleased to welcome Secretary Alice Bonner and Commissioner Jeff McCue. Alice Bonner is a nationally known …Continue Reading Executive Office Approves New Leaders for Elder Affairs, Transitional Assistance
THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community posted on Apr 9
Four listening sessions. Hundreds of voices. “My daughter felt ashamed, isolated. Stigma keeps kids from getting help.” -Jennifer “We need to create compelling reasons for parents to come to the table and have conversations and we are not talking about middle school and high school. …Continue Reading THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community
From Serving Homeless To Setting Policy: Meet Dr. Monica Bharel posted on Feb 25
We are proud to welcome a champion of human rights and health care for everyone. From tackling homelessness to reducing disparities in care, Dr. Monica Bharel, our new Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, will bring experience and passion to the task of keeping …Continue Reading From Serving Homeless To Setting Policy: Meet Dr. Monica Bharel