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"I spoke out to put a face to the issue for the millions of women, men and children who suffer in silence and to say that you are not alone. Help is available." ~ Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor (Photo by Christopher Mason)

Conley and Barrios Team Up to End Violence Against Women

DECEMBER 4, 2012                                                                                                                  Contact:  Toni Troop
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                  Phone:  617-557-1807

 

On Thursday, December 6, 2012, Jane Doe Inc. will launch the 6th Annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign to engage men in the solution of ending violence against women.  Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and former State Senator and present American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts CEO Jarrett Barrios will serve as Co-Chairs of this year’s campaign.  Governor Deval Patrick will once again serve as Honorary Chair of the campaign.

Mary R. Lauby, Executive Director of Jane Doe Inc. (JDI), explains the significance of this date and goals for the campaign, “December 6th marks the 23rd anniversary of the Montreal Massacre and the 21st anniversary of the international White Ribbon Campaign.  Each year we remember these tragic and unnecessary deaths and recommit ourselves to eradicating the root causes that foster and perpetuate violence against women.  We cannot end sexual and domestic violence without a broader social transformation that supports equality and justice.” 

JDI adopted the White Ribbon Campaign because while sexual and domestic violence affect everyone, men have a unique role to play in ending male violence against women.  Lauby adds, “Men like District Attorney Conley and Mr. Barrios are proof that men are expanding their understanding of what it means to be a man to include a commitment to healthy masculinity and non-violence.”

JDI’s Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign aims to engage men who are ready to help take an active role in making a difference in their communities, their workplaces, and their families.  Men are asked to help shift the conversation from being the protectors of women to engaging other men in ending men’s violence against women.  This year’s co-chairs have demonstrated in their professional careers that protecting public safety also requires being prepared and working to prevent harm. 

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley says, “If we want to end violence against women, it makes sense to start with men and boys.  JDI’s White Ribbon Day Campaign is a chance to do just that.  As a father, as a coach, and as DA, I want male leaders of every age to know the difference between strength and violence and between commitment and control.  The message of mutual respect in every relationship is one I look forward to sharing in Boston, Suffolk County, and beyond.”

Jarrett Barrios says, “"When I led the Senate Public Safety Committee, I worked to make the laws protect survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Now, I head of one of Massachusetts' largest humanitarian organizations that provides food, shelter and material aid to victims of violence and disaster.  Then, as now, I worked hard to protect the vulnerable, and believe that the most powerful antidote for violence is education.  White Ribbon Day is an unparalleled opportunity to raise the bar on the public's understanding of violence against women, and their engagement in changing these cycles of violence."

Since the campaign began, nearly 500 men have signed on as White Ribbon Day Ambassadors and 65 groups have signed on as campaign affiliates.   Craig Norberg-Bohm, the Massachusetts White Day Ribbon Campaign Coordinator, finds inspiration in the ways men are responding to this call, “Men are thirsty for ways to be part of the solution in ending the violence that affects them and the women and men in their lives.  This is an opportunity for men to step up in a positive way.”

On the first Thursday of March, JDI hosts a statewide Massachusetts White Ribbon Day as the centerpiece of the campaign.  Between now and March 7, 2013, JDI will engage its members and White Ribbon Day Affiliates to reach men across the Commonwealth to take the White Ribbon Day Pledge and join this campaign.

Background on The White Ribbon Campaign:

The Montreal Massacre took place on December 6, 1989, at 4:00 PM when, a 25 year old man who claimed that he was “fighting feminism” opened fire on the campus of École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec.  In just under 20 minutes, the perpetrator shot 28 people.  In total, 14 women were killed and 14 others were shot (including 4 men) before the perpetrator turned the gun on himself.  Two years later the international White Ribbon Campaign was created to urge men to pledge not to be silent, condone or commit violence against women.  Today, the White Ribbon Campaign takes place in over 60 countries.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Toni Troop
Director of Communications
Jane Doe Inc.
(617)557-1807
ttroop@janedoe.org


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