Thursday, October 6, 2016

October is Domestic Violence Month

Since 1987, October has been dedicated to bringing awareness to domestic violence, its victims, and available resources to end relationship assaults.

Recently, I attended an important event at Gloucester City Hall as Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken declared the City of Gloucester a Domestic Violence Free Zone.

Public awareness of domestic abuse as a critical health issue; it impacts thousands of families across the state and the nation. Gloucester has undertaken substantial efforts to provide important resources to lessen violence and support those in need. Having been selected to receive a Patriot’s Anti-Violence Grant, Gloucester High School has initiated violence prevention education and training for students, faculty and coaches. Gloucester District Court is implementing an intervention program and the Gloucester Police Department continues to have dedicated full-time officers focusing on domestic abuse issues

In the Senate, I have been a sponsor of legislation related to responsible and sensible sexual offender information sharing for law enforcers; a bill to strengthen a 2011 law which provides protections for victims of sexual abuse, including severe punishments ranging from five years to life imprisonment for sexual exploitation of people.

The City Hall event was co-sponsored by HAWC, the Coalition for the Prevention of Domestic Abuse, the YMCA North Shore Rape Crisis Center, SeniorCare, and the Gloucester Police Department. Many people will wear purple or displaying purple lights to signify their support of raising awareness of dating violence and domestic abuse.

Together, we can raise awareness and end relationship violence and sexual assaults.