Top official launch campaign against gender based violence
March 01, 2018
By Andy Metzger, State House News Service
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MARCH 1, 2018.....Gov. Charlie Baker grew up in a household where his mother and father "treated each other as equals," the governor said Thursday, acknowledging that many people have not grown up in households with that kind of harmony.
"I consider myself in some ways to be one of the lucky ones," Baker said at an event in Nurses Hall to promote the 11th Annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign, which advocates against [sexual and] domestic violence.
Last year there were 28 domestic violence deaths, and there have been three so far in 2018, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said.
"Every life lost serves as an inspiration to all of us that we have a lot of work to do together," Polito said.
The day's events were hosted by Jane Doe Inc., a statewide coalition against sexual and domestic violence, which said the necessity of the campaign "is evidenced by the daily reporting of gender-based violence - from sexual harassment in the workplace to rape on college campuses and intimate partner violence in homes throughout the Commonwealth."
"Gender-based violence knows no bounds," said Attorney General Maura Healey, speaking at Thursday's event. She said, "We see how pervasive it is."
People should learn to recognize the signs of domestic violence and call out bad behavior when they see it, said Healey, who said it would be important to "take advantage of this moment."
"So much of this is about power, and about the imbalance of power," said Healey, noting how sexual harassment has held women back over the years.
Jane Doe Inc. brought the White Ribbon campaign to Massachusetts 11 years ago, and invites people to wear a white ribbon pin throughout the month of March to promote healthier models of manhood, safety and respect, and the worldwide human rights movement.
"We need to show other men that violence and aggression is not acceptable," said Paulo Pinto, the executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers and a Jane Doe board member. He said, "As men, let's educate other men and boys what it means to be a loving, caring man in our society."
Several major media outlets are partnering with Jane Doe this year to feature sports anchors in #ReimagineManhood public service announcements that will air throughout March. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation also plans to use its electronic billboards to bring attention to the campaign.
The House on Wednesday passed legislation that is a priority to Jane Doe - called the PATCH Act for "Protect Access to Confidential Health Care," which would shield information about medical treatment from spouses and parents. The Senate passed the PATCH Act bill a few weeks ago.
"Currently, when a patient seeks medical care, there is a form called a “Summary of Payments” (or SOP), which details the type and cost of services received. This form is typically sent to the primary subscriber of the health plan," Rep. Kate Hogan, the House chairwoman of the Public Health Committee said on the House floor, according to a copy of her prepared remarks. "Sensitive health information is frequently disclosed in an SOP–violating the basic right to privacy – guaranteed by HIPAA – for anyone enrolled as a dependent on another person’s policy."