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Cambridge Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Candlelight Vigil to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 4

September 26, 2017

A candlelight vigil will be held Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m., on the steps of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, in observance of national Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Other October events include a training on working with domestic violence survivors on Oct. 16 and a Purple Thursday solidarity campaign on Oct. 19.
 
“Each of us has a role to play in ending domestic violence,” said Liz Speakman, Coordinator of the city’s domestic and Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative. “It could be speaking up when we see abuse happen or by supporting a loved one who is being controlled by a partner. It’s up to each of us to be informed and take action.”
 
The annual vigil will commemorate the Massachusetts women, men, and children who lost their lives to domestic violence since last October.  The event will feature a reading of the victims’ names, the ringing of the City Hall bell for every name read, a musical interlude, and a poetry reading. Local domestic violence prevention agencies will have resources for survivors and information for the community on how to recognize and talk about domestic violence. 
 
“We are deeply committed to providing resources and supporting victims of domestic and gender-based violence,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “This October, we encourage residents and city employees to get involved in Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities and share valuable resources that can be instrumental in preventing and bringing attention to domestic and gender-based violence.” 
 
Cambridge Domestic Violence Awareness Month is organized by multiple city departments and city-led groups, including the Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women, the Cambridge Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative, the Cambridge Police Department, the Cambridge Public Health Department and Mending Cambridge.
 
For more information about domestic and gender-based violence prevention activities in Cambridge, go to: www.cambridgema.gov/domesticviolence.
Calendar of Events

Domestic Violence Vigil and Silent Witness Initiative Exhibit

Wednesday, Oct. 4

6 p.m., Cambridge City Hall lawn, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. In addition to the ceremony, life-size wooden silhouettes of domestic violence victims will be on display in front of City Hall.
 

Community Training: Working with Survivors of Domestic Violence

Monday, Oct. 16

9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Transition House, 7 Temple St., Cambridge. This free training covers the dynamics of abuse, working with survivors, and tips for responding to disclosures. It also offers the chance to connect with the many groups in Cambridge that help survivors. Presenters include staff from Transition House and the city’s Domestic & Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative. The training is designed for those who have not yet participated in any domestic violence training. Space is limited, so please register on Eventbrite by Oct. 12. If you have any questions or need help accessing the link, contact Kara Blue at kblue@transitionhouse.org or 617-868-1650.
 

Purple Thursday

Thursday, Oct. 19

People who live and work in Cambridge are invited to wear purple on Thursday, Oct. 19, and post photos of themselves on Twitter using the hashtag #PurpleThursday. This national campaign honors victims and supports survivors of domestic violence.
Initiatives

Cambridge Police Department Announces Enhancements to Assist Victims of Domestic and Gender-Based Violence

The Cambridge Police Department has embraced a trauma-informed approach to working with victims of domestic and gender-based violence.  In addition to training personnel in this approach, the department recently transformed one of its interview rooms to accommodate and be more supportive of gender-based violence victims who come to the police station.  The room has been repainted to softer colors, and enhanced with new lighting and furniture.
 
In late September, the police department received a set of care packages donated by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC). These kits, which include water bottles, blankets, hard candy, fidget toys and tissues, will be provided to survivors and the families of domestic and gender-based violence to help comfort them as they recount difficult experiences.
MEDIA CONTACT

Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer
617-665-3833
sfeinberg@challiance.org


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