Week Without Violence Campaign Video

Week Without Violence Banner

We want to Thank Malden High School and the Malden Community for their support of TASK’s Week Without Violence Campaign. It was a two-part event of getting the facts and making your mark to end violence in our community. We hope that everyone can agree that we need more than a week without violence…. Check out some of the highlights of our event.

Thank you to Peg Crowe, Director of Teen Services, for coordinating TASK’s work on this campaign and this video.

What is Week Without Violence?

Week Without Violence Banner

WHAT IS WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE?
YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. That’s why for more than 20 years, we have set aside one week in October as a Week Without Violence (WWV). WWV is part of a global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Join YWCA Malden’s Week Without Violence Teen Visibility Campaign at Malden High School
10/18 After School on the steps of Jenkins to get the facts. (2:15 p.m.)

10/19 Stop by the courtyard to make your mark for change. (2:15 p.m.)

Follow the link to watch your video invitation!

How Can We Work Together to End Domestic Violence? – Mayor Gary Christenson

I recently participated in the Zonta Club of Malden and the Malden Teen Enrichment Center’s (MTEC) second annual STEPS Walk (Steps Toward Empowering Personal Safety). The walk was a collaboration of community groups that brought the issue of domestic violence to the forefront. I think the event serves as an example of working together to not only raise awareness, but to also provide information about the services and resources available to assist victims.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone – it impacts women, men and children of all ages and backgrounds. According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence:

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their life time;
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes; and,
  • On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive approximately 20,800 calls.

In Malden, in the past year alone, our Police Department has had:

  • 800 Domestic Violence calls for service;
  • Made over 170 arrests of batterers; and,
  • Assisted with the filing of over 195 Restraining Orders and 30 Harassment Prevention orders in the Malden District.

As a City, we are working hard to improve our prevention measures and response efforts.  With the assistance of Police Chief Kevin Molis and the support of the City Council we now have a detective dedicated specifically to the Domestic Violence Unit. Officer Elijah McNeal works hand-in-hand with the courts and support agencies to assist victims.

Additionally, through grant funding from the Junior Aid Association and Malden Industrial Aid Society, the Malden PD now has an on-site Domestic Violence Liaison from the agency RESPOND, Inc.  Victim advocate, Samantha Nunes, divides her time between the Malden Court and the Police Station, and works closely with Detective McNeal as a resource for victims needing support, shelter, counseling and legal services.

There is no doubt that we have to remain pro-active and take responsibility for raising public awareness and for providing better support services. I believe that by working together and collaborating with advocates, victim service providers and organizations like the YWCA , we will make a difference in the effort to end the violence.

 GARY CHRISTENSON

Mayor, City of Malden

How Can We Work Together to End Domestic Violence? – Lisa Jacobson

YWCA October Blog 2015

We have come a long way in addressing the epidemic of domestic violence, but we still have work to do.

Some statistics cite that one in three women or girls will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.  I am grateful that I have not personally experienced violence in my life.  However, I have a dear friend, as well as a family member who have suffered verbal and vicious physical abuse by the very person whom they loved.

By raising awareness and publicly advocating for victims we have made progress.  Vigils, education forums, and walks are held in the month of October to shine a bright light on domestic violence.

The Zonta Club of Malden and Zonta International, through their Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women campaign, have just completed their second annual STEPS walk (Steps Toward Empowering Personal Safety).  This walk, founded by the late Joanne Lambert, is in collaboration with the Malden Teen Enrichment Center, the youth of the YMCA, the YWCA and the Z Club.  The Step-off ceremony that preceded the walk this year included remarks by Mayor Gary Christensen, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and a presentation of the Silent Witnesses.

For those of you not familiar with the Silent Witness Project, it began in Minnesota in 1990 when a group of women artists and writers were upset about the growing number of women being murdered by their partners or acquaintances.  They wanted to commemorate the lives of the 26 women who died in 1990.  They created free standing, life-sized red wooden figures, each one bearing the name of a woman who once worked, had neighbors, friends, family, children but whose lives ended violently at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, partner or acquaintance. A 27th figure was added to represent those uncounted women whose murders either went unsolved or were erroneously ruled an accident.  They called the figures “The Silent Witnesses”

The exhibit at the STEPS walk in 2015, provided by REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, included 14 silent witnesses, one for each of the 13 people that had been murdered by domestic violence thus far in 2015, plus the additional figure representing the unknown victims.  Sadly, the 13 victims this year were 11 women, ranging in ages from 17 to 55 years old, and 2 men, both in their 30’s.  The walkers departed from the Salemwood School, led by Mayor Christensen, marched along Salem Street, down Holden Street, and returned to the Salemwood School along the bike path.  Banners and signs proclaiming messages against domestic violence were held.  DA Ryan remarked that the issue of domestic violence is a hidden one, one that is kept private and behind closed doors.  By walking past houses and businesses, the walkers demonstrated to victims and perpetrators that violence in all its forms is not tolerable.

So, back to the question:  How can we work together to end domestic violence.  I don’t have the answer, I only know we need to continue the conversation about it; remain aware of it, and equip ourselves with information about where victims can get help.  We are fortunate to have many local agencies, such as Portal to Hope, the Intimate Partner Violence Project, the Melrose Alliance Against Violence, Respond, and REACH Beyond Domestic Violence.

As the current President of the Zonta Club of Malden, I am proud of the work of Zonta International.  Locally, in addition to the STEPS walk, the Zonta Club of Malden produced a Public Service Announcement in 2013 that aired on MATV, as well as produced posters that hang in local ladies rooms with information on where victims can seek help.  Internationally, Zonta is funding projects, including delaying early marriage in Niger, piloting a Gender Responsive Schools Model in Vietnam, and contributing nearly $1,000,000 toward the Voices Against Violence, a non-formal education curriculum for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on ending violence against women and girls, among others.

Like or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/zontaclubofmalden

Learn more about Zonta Says No at https://www.facebook.com/ZontaSaysNo

Working Together to Eliminate Domestic Violence -guest blogger S.A. Clark

When considering how I think domestic violence can best be lessened I look to the law.  I was a dispatcher for a police  department  in Connecticut, both pre and post domestic violence legislation.  DV law has made a significant impact in decreasing intimate partner violence, educating us all on what is acceptable  behavior in a relationship.  Along those lines teaching our sons and daughters how to treat others, starts in the home and school, on the playground, ball field, and  any place people gather.  Mental health plays a more significant role than I would have thought.  Verbal abuse, physical abuse and a sort of water torture of threatening actions goes on in too many homes.  Alcohol and drug abuse are major factors too.

Over the past twenty-two months I have assisted both women and men victims of domestic violence, file for Restraining Orders.  I don’t work with the victims whose incident ended in an arrest, those are handled by the Advocates working for the DA’s office.  I work with walk-ins, in one of Massachusetts’ busiest courts.  The law pertaining to obtaining an RO is fairly clear and when people fall out of those parameters,  Harassment Orders can be an option.  But HOs are a mine field of problems and while created to address rape by a superior officer or in a work place, harassment complaints have become the dumping ground for everything else, from homophobic neighbors,  to stalking, threatening with three incidents of the situation.  Because of their complexity, HOs often end up as a two party hearing before being granted.

As an advocate and court volunteer my opinion, is mine alone, but comes from over four decades of observation, consideration, and occasional conversation with those who work in the field.  I would like to see both laws changed and in the following ways.

Restraining Orders   for all the good  they do are not weapon proof, nor do they cover people who cohabitate, but are not in an intimate relationship; are dating, related by blood or marriage, or have a child(ren) in common.   The occasions are rare, but do exist where someone needs a RO, but does not fall under these relationships.

Harassment Orders   need to be separated into two different laws.  One that addresses neighbor disputes and one that harkens back to the original intent of sexual assault.    Stalking in and of itself is a very creepy, disturbing act. and three incidents are two too many.

For those who are the defendants in these cases, men or women, more sentencing needs to be toward Batterer’s Intervention.  A forty week program, where the participants need to pay to attend, and where probation depends on their participation and attendance.  Anger management isn’t the same.

This is one prong of help for victims,  a small step toward  Eliminating Domestic Violence, but this is  for one of fifty states. One of fifty states in a country that respects woman more than too large a portion of the rest of the world.

Education, laws that protect, batterer’s programs, counseling, and for the few who need them, safe, comfortable shelters.

Susan A. James Clark

Director    Intimate Partner Violence Project, Inc.

Week Without Violence

This month marks the 20th Anniversary of YWCA Week Without Violence. Has there been any progress in the last two decades? Absolutely. The most pivotal part of the story is linked to the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, signed into law by President Clinton.

According to the data from the US Department of Justice there has been a 64% decrease in domestic violence from 2003-2010!

Is there more to be done? You know there is.

Join YWCA Malden and YWCA’s across the USA as we mobilize people in our communities to take action against all forms of violence wherever it occurs. Our approach at the local level: awareness campaigns, political advocacy, and  an exciting new youth violence prevention initiative.

Join us on October 21st for our local Week Without Violence event.