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"Jane Doe Inc. keeps us grounded in the current policy developments, information, and emerging topics in domestic and sexual violence. Through their system change work and government relations, they rise our voice and share survivors’ concerns and needs. I can’t imagine leading a local agency without the support and expertise that I receive as a member of JDI. " ~ Marianne Winters - Executive Director at Safe Passage Inc.

Polanowicz, DeLeo, Gottlieb and Odom to headline White Ribbon Day Ceremony at State House - March 6, 2014

FOR RELEASE:  Tuesday, March 4, 2014
CONTACT:  Toni Troop:  ttroop@janedoe.org or 617-212-7571

JaneDoe Inc. engages men and boys to help end violence against women
2014 Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Takes Place Thursday, March 6th

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Gary Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare, and Pastor Ron Odom of True Vine Church will be among the featured speakers at the 7th Annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day (WRD) Campaign sponsored by Jane Doe Inc.  The central Proclamation Event for the campaign will be held at the State House on March 6 at 1:00 PM in Gardner Auditorium.  A public service announcement featuring Governor Deval Patrick, this year’s campaign chair, invites men and boys to join him and thousands of other men and boys across the Commonwealth to take the White Ribbon Day pledge and wear a white ribbon on March 6, 2014.

Jane Doe Inc. founded the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign as a primary prevention strategy to help end male violence against women.  The campaign offers a welcoming vehicle for men and boys to take a public stand against violence against women and to promote healthy masculinity as a positive means to support peaceful and healthy communities.  JDI is the first in the nation to organize a statewide campaign as part of the international White Ribbon Campaign that currently exists in over 60 countries.

Craig Norberg-Bohm, JDI’s Men’s Initiative Coordinator, explains, “Our focus is to mobilize men ready to help and ready to become engaged active bystanders. The crux of the WRD Campaign is for men to make both a personal pledge to live by the values of the campaign and a public commitment to invite other men and boys in their lives to join them by choosing what roles they can play in ending violence against women.”

Governor Deval Patrick along with a distinguished Honorary Committee are strong examples of men taking responsibility and providing leadership on these issues.  “As Governor, as a father and as a husband, I am proud to serve as this year’s Chair of the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign,” said Governor Patrick. “Violence against women is a violation of all of our human rights and it will take the voices of each one of us to end that violence.”

In communities throughout Massachusetts men and boys are deeply engaged in finding creative and effective ways to break through the barriers that traditionally keep men from talking about or acting on these issues.

“Our 85 WRD Affiliates and over 500 WRD Ambassadors are helping us reach more men and boys with this critical message,” said Debra Robbin, Interim Executive Director of Jane Doe Inc. “These groups and individuals are shifting cultural attitudes and norms of behavior by sending a message to all men and boys that the issue of violence against woman is a man’s issue and that they can no longer afford to sit quietly on the sidelines.”

Dr. Gottlieb will address the role of the business community and healthcare specifically in addressing violence against women as a public health matter.  Partners HealthCare operates three sexual and domestic violence programs within its network:  HAVEN at Massachusetts General Hospital, Passageway at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the DVSA Program at Newton Wellesley Hospital and Crossroads at North Shore Medical Center in partnership with HAWC.   Men are actively involved in supporting these programs and other prevention efforts, including MGH Men Against Abuse.

Pastor Odom, the father of a homicide victim, has been working to help end community violence and will address the intersections of faith, community, and violence of all forms.  The University of Massachusetts-Amherst performance group, Phallacies, will share two of its poignant pieces about how men can either continue to perpetuate rigid gender roles and stereotypes or by active bystanders to help end violence against women and girls.

For more information on the campaign, please visit www.janedoe.org/whiteribbonday.      

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