Game Change: The Anti-Violence Partnership

The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership

What is Game Change? Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership is an educative alliance between Northeastern University, the New England Patriots and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO), whose goal is to foster long-term anti-violence and healthy relationship education with the focus of developing student leaders to train their peers.   Game Change is a multi-phased initiative funded by owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, and The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, as well as the AGO. The training encourages facilitated conversations about issues like relationship abuse, consent, and respectful communication. Phase One began in 2015 with the selection of 30 high schools across the state to partner with a local domestic and sexual violence prevention organization. Through these partnerships, organizations were able to educate school staff, coaches, and parents, and to be an … Read More

Why Men Need To Talk About Sexual Harassment

How Men’s Silence on the Issue of Sexual Harassment Is Perpetrating the Problem Recently the #METOO movement has started to shed light on the role that men need to play in the conversation about sexual harassment. For decades now, author and educator Jackson Katz has been encouraging men to do just that. As president of MVP Strategies, he has conducted sexual harassment and violence training seminars for sports teams and the military for the past few decades. Last year he gave a TED Talk entitled: “Violence Against Women- It’s a Men’s Issue” (TED.com). Katz recently spoke out on CBS This Morning about why he thinks now it is even more important than ever that men join the growing conversation taking place on the issue of violence against women. Last Sunday, January 7th, The Golden Globe … Read More

Hollywood Says TIME’S UP On Sexual Harassment!

Hollywood Announces the TIME’S UP Initiative as a New All-Inclusive, Anti-Harassment Action Plan for Women When several Hollywood women bravely accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in late 2017, no one knew it was only the beginning of a new movement for gender equality in the entertainment industry and beyond. Since then, an onslaught of accusations against men both in and out of Hollywood has shed light on what is now seen to be a systemic culture of workplace female harassment and abuse. On January 1st, 2018, over 300 powerful Hollywood women announced in the NY Times that they had formed a new anti-harassment initiative called TIME’S UP. This new alliance has put out an action plan designed to help women of all backgrounds fight for workplace equality and justice. The Harsh Reality As the … Read More

My #METOO

My Own Journey Through Victimization, Trauma, and Redemption Through My Dog I never thought of myself as a victim of Domestic Violence (D.V.). When I first got involved as a writer with the Pets Empower blog, I did so because I was passionate about the idea of pet fostering. Never in a million years did I think I would find myself identifying with the victims of D.V., or that I would learn more about myself through my research than anything else. The Attack I remember meeting a cute guy late into the evening one night when I was at a party. He was a friend of a friend, so when he asked me to go home with him, it didn’t occur to me that I would be in any danger. We started kissing on the … Read More

Time’s 2017 Person of the Year is “The Silence Breakers”

The Silence Breakers

When Donald Trump tweeted that he turned down Time’s Person of the Year, I thought how powerful would it be if The Person of the Year was women. In 2017 we have seen women from all backgrounds win elections, fight for change in big ways and break the silence surrounding sexual assault and harassment in the United States. While I am always proud to be a woman, 2017 has given me a different sense of pride. 2017 has proven that women are not to be messed with. On December 6th Time released its Person of the Year issue: The Silence Breakers. The Silence Breakers are the women, and some men, who triggered a national movement. The Silence Breakers are women and men who found the courage to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment … Read More

Ramifications of College Campus Sexual Assaults

The Shocking Lack of Consequences for College Campus Sexual Assault Perpetrators in the US On one seemingly normal January night in 2015, a woman on the Stanford campus went to a party. The next thing she would be aware of was waking up on hospital covered in bandages and bruises. This woman was sexually assaulted that night behind a dumpster during the party she was attending. She was unconscious when it happened. What this woman did not know that when she innocently went out that night, was that she was about to become the center of one of the most publicized college sexual assault cases in US history (BuzzFeed News). This woman, known today only as Emily Doe, was assaulted by the now infamous former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Brock Turner, a privileged and popular … Read More

Domestic Violence: Busting the Myths

Domestic Violence: Busting the Myths For whatever reason, many of us have preconceived notions about what domestic violence looks like, who perpetrates it, and who it happens to. In order to understand domestic violence and work to prevent it, we have to recognize it in all its forms. Here are a few of the more common misconceptions surrounding domestic violence, and the truths which they conceal. “Transgender people don’t experience intimate partner violence.” This one is pretty common. Very often, victims of domestic violence are assumed to be heterosexual cisnormative women.[1] The reality is that while up to 33% of the general population experience intimate partner violence, a massive 50% of transgender people are subject to it in their lifetime.[2] In 2012, a report by the NCAPV found that 47.6% of all homicides resulting from intimate … Read More

Can We Stop Victim Blaming Already?

Victim Blaming

Every time a discussion starts about the downfall of Hollywood and political elites due to sexual assault and harassment I hear at least one person blame the victim or flat out call them a liar. The most common victim-blaming comment I hear is “Why didn’t they say something years ago when it happened?”. Many assume that just because it wasn’t immediately reported the victim must be lying or making it up for their own benefit. Victim blaming is placing any amount of responsibility or blame, no matter how big or small, for the sexual assault on the victim. Women can be blamed in many ways including being asked what they were wearing at the time, were they drinking or did they fight back. This sends the message that the victim could have avoided the rape. … Read More

Troubling TV: Domestic Violence in HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’

During spring this year, HBO launched a seven-part miniseries called Big Little Lies, based on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same title. The show was incredibly popular, earning high-ratings and winning several awards, but this is not simply down to the cast. Refreshingly, Big Little Lies is based around the lives of three female protagonists. The show explores in detail their marriages, friendships, and relationships with their children, all the while hinting that these storylines will lead to the death of a main character. It is clear from the opening episode of Big Little Lies that violence is prevalent in the lives of these characters, and it permeates the plot in three significant ways. The story begins with the arrival of single mom Jane Chapman and her young son, who seek a fresh start in … Read More

The Normalization of Sexual Violence Through Rape Culture

With the rush of sexual assault allegations in the past few years, we hear the term “rape culture” often. But what exactly is rape culture? Rape culture is defined as a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse. We live in a society that normalizes this culture on a daily basis. You probably experience rape culture on a daily basis without even realizing it. Rape culture supports the idea that men hold some sort of power over women. It is perpetuated on social media, on TV and in movies, in the music we listen to and even in the language we choose to use. We see colleges and universities actively try and sweep rape cases under the rug for the sake of their image, TV … Read More