Violence against women is a serious public health issue – and men play an incredibly important role in its prevention. On Thursday, March 6th at the State House, Governor Patrick, along with men from across the state, will gather together for Massachusetts White Ribbon Day 2014 . The event provides an opportunity for men and boys to show how necessary it is for them to speak out, stand up and get involved in preventing violence against women. Here’s a message from Governor Patrick, who’s the chair of the 2014 White Ribbon Day campaign: http://whiteribbonday.janedoe.org/
The evidence is all too clear. A major study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that:
- Women experienced high rates of severe intimate partner violence, rape, and stalking, and long-term chronic disease and other health impacts.
- Most rape and intimate partner violence is first experienced before age 24, stressing the importance of preventing this violence before it occurs to make sure that all people can grow to their fullest potential.
- Prevention efforts should start early by promoting healthy and respectful relationships, addressing the beliefs, attitudes and messages that create a climate that disregards sexual violence.
That’s where the Massachusetts White Ribbon Campaign comes in. The goals of our state’s campaign, which is part of the international White Ribbon campaign, are to:
- Change attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate and make excuses for violence against women.
- Promote safety and respect in all relationships.
- Build a network of voices that will support and advance the efforts of Jane Doe Inc. and other sexual and domestic violence organizations to promote the safety, liberty and dignity of survivors.
Many men feel that they don’t know what to do to address this issue and are waiting for an opportunity to step in and make a difference. Here are several ways you can help:
- Take the pledge to be part of the solution of ending violence against women.
- Join us and the Governor on March 6th at 1 pm at the State House or create or attend a local White Ribbon Day Event in your community.
- Become a White Ribbon Ambassador in your community.
- Start the conversation with your family, neighbors, co-workers and especially the young men and boys in your life about creating healthy and equitable relationships, respecting boundaries, and ending violence.
- Support Massachusetts’ sexual assault and domestic violence programs that work every day to prevent violence against women and reduce its immense impact on survivors, victims’ families, and entire communities. Visit www.mass.gov/dph/violence to find a program near you, or call SafeLink 24/7 at 877-785-2020 / TTY: 877-521-2601.
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