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"Educating our communities and elected officials about the needs of survivors in our local cities and towns requires year round focus. JDI is our pathway to informing and influencing the state and national agenda to end sexual and domestic violence." ~ Karen Cavanaugh, JDI board member and Executive Director of Womanshelter/Companeras, pictured here with a JDI delegation meeting with Congressman Niki Tsongas

More Prevention, Fewer Deaths

WITH THE new year, Jane Doe Inc. completes its annual survey of domestic violence deaths in Massachusetts. This time, there are signs of progress — 24 deaths as of yesterday, compared to 33 in 2010. Community-based prevention programs, working closely with schools, churches, workplaces, and law enforcement, may have helped reduce the numbers. Many of these programs now stress personal intervention with potential victims, to support their decisions to separate from the potential perpetrator and enhance their efforts to protect themselves.

As in past years, the 2011 list proves that no age group, race, gender, or type of intimate relationship is immune to domestic violence. The high-profile cases in 2011 ranged from the murder of 18-year-old Lauren Astley of Wayland, allegedly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita, to that of Nazish Noorani of East Boston, allegedly shot by her husband, Kashif Parvaiz.

The 24 victims also included five men allegedly killed by their wives or girlfriends, two of whom claimed to be acting in self-defense. Extra vigilance, and improved outreach, can further reduce the numbers of Bay State residents lost to such senseless killings in 2012.

 

© 2012 THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


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