In Wake of Domestic Violence Homicide: Advocates Ask "What Can We Do To Prevent These Deaths?"
May 04, 2012
As advocates learned of the 9th domestic violence homicide in Massachusettssince January 1 of this year, the conversation quickly turned to what they and the entire community can do to prevent future domestic violence homicides. Christopher Piantedosi, the former long-term partner of Kristen Pulisciano, turned himself into the police and has been arrested for the fatal stabbing on May 3, 2012 at their home in Burlington.
Rita Shah, Family Service Coordinator, of SAHELI, asked, “How many of us know someone – mother, sister, friend, or neighbor – who is a victim of domestic violence? If you know or suspect that someone you know is involved in an abusive relationship it is important to recognize the signs and become familiar with resources at local domestic violence organizations. We are all here to help.”
Local sexual and domestic violence programs provide an array of free and confidential services, from individual advocacy or support groups to emergency shelter. While not every program offers the same exact thing, every program is committed to providing quality, culturally-relevant, community-based services for survivors, friends and family and the broader community. Victims/Survivors can call with questions, requests for support or help with safety planning.
Laura Van Zandt, Executive Director of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence added, “It can be very frightening to reach out – as a victim or as a friend – but it is such an important decision. We are here to listen and support without judgment in order to help people move toward increased safety.”
Michelle Fine Nelson, Director of Programs, of RESPOND, finds hope in the fact that research and experience confirm that domestic violence homicides are among the predictable and therefore preventable of all murders. Fine said, “Domestic violence advocates can help victims, friends, family members and co-workers access life saving information, resources and services. We want victims to know that they are not alone. Trained advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that a victim does not have to choose safety over returning to their abuser.”
These member programs of Jane Doe Inc., Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, provide comprehensive outreach and services for victims and survivors of domestic violence in Burlington and surrounding communities. These services are available regardless of age, gender, orientation, culture or race. Local sexual or domestic violence programs can be found on the Jane Doe Inc. website.
LOCAL PROGRAM CONTACT INFORMATION:
Hotline #: 800-899-4000
Hotline #: 617-623-5900
Office #: 866-472-4354