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

Massachusetts White Ribbon Day 2018

PetsEmpower-White-Ribbon-Day

Since 1991 men have joined in the fight against domestic violence by wearing white ribbons to show their solidarity with the cause. This action is due to the efforts of White Ribbon, a global campaign designed to “inspire changes in policy, practice and culture to address the root causes of gender-based violence” (White Ribbon). The White Ribbon campaign is asking men to be part of the solution to domestic violence rather than part of the problem. In Massachusetts, White Ribbon is partnering with Jane Doe Inc. (JDI), a state-wide membership coalition and advocacy group working to change “the way society views and reacts to sexual and domestic violence in ways that make our communities safer today and for future generations” (Jane Doe Inc). Jane Doe Inc. began Massachusetts White Ribbon Day in 2008 as one … Read More

Companion Animals: Can pets help improve your mental and physical health?

companion animals

When I get home from a long stressful day at work I am greeted at the door by two cats who are extremely happy to see me. When I have an anxiety attack my cat is purring by my side, licking my hand until I calm down. It’s no secret that our pets make us happy even on our worst days but researchers have concluded that companion animals are in fact good for our health. This is why we see animals on college campuses during finals, in hospitals and even in prisons. Research shows that the presence of a companion animal has health benefits including improvements in mental, social, and physiologic health. In regards to mental health, owning a cat or dog brings routine based on their care needs which can often help people with … Read More

The Silencing of Immigrant Domestic Violence Vicitms

Immigrant women are often at higher risk for domestic violence than other women in America. This is due to the fact that there are often huge differences in cultural norms when it comes to the treatment of women. Many of the cultures that these women come from view domestic abuse as the norm. This often leads immigrant women to be afraid to speak out about their abuse, as their cultural norm is one of silence in the face of mistreatment. Even if an immigrant woman is bold enough to speak out, there is often a lack of access between herself and any sort of help. Immigrant women are often not even aware of their rights within the American legal system. This is largely the result of something as simple as a language barrier. There are … Read More

British MP Calls for Domestic Violence Register

In the United Kingdom this month, a Welsh Member of Parliament (MP) named Liz Saville Roberts urged the British government to introduce a compulsory domestic violence register. She is certainly not the first to address this matter, but calls for action were renewed after Theodore Johnson, who already had two manslaughter convictions, was charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend. This has generated much conversation amongst the British press who are now asking ‘is a law-enforced domestic violence register the next logical step in protecting vulnerable people from abuse?’ Clare’s Law Since 2014 there has been legislation in place called ‘Clare’s Law’ across England, Wales and Scotland. Under ‘Clare’s Law’, anybody who suspects someone of abusive behavior can apply to the police for disclosure of their criminal record. This ‘right to ask’ measure is named … Read More

Moving on From an Abusive Relationship

moving on from an abusive relationship

After leaving an abusive relationship you would imagine the hard part is behind you. No more trauma. No more threats. No more fear. In reality, moving on from an abusive relationship is an uphill battle. The emotional scars of an abusive relationship can stay with you long after you leave the relationship. It is important to remember that you are entirely capable of moving on. You will be able to love and trust again, even if it takes you a while to get to there. With time, effort, support and patience you will be able to move on and break the cycle of abuse in your life. Below are tips to help you move on from your abusive relationship. Remind Yourself Why You Left Journaling about your abuse can help you remember the reasons that … Read More

A Look at College Campuses and Title IX Reporting

It’s time to shed some light on why the outcome is so bleak for those courageous enough to come forward and report acts of sexual violence. Apart from Hollywood and the recent #MeToo movement, one of the most highly criticized areas when it comes to sexual assault allegations is higher education.    What many people don’t realize is the level of confidentiality surrounding Title IX cases and reports. Most colleges and universities have what are called “mandatory reporters” and “confidential resources”. Confidential resources are those designated by the college to have immunity from filing incident reports, so students typically feel more comfortable going to these people when they are embarrassed, confused, or conflicted about what to do next. The majority of faculty and staff are mandatory reporters, which means they are required to file a … Read More

Home for the Holidays: Breaking Stereotypes

Dating violence doesn't discriminate

In the last two parts of our Home for the Holidays series, we looked at warning signs and ways to support victims of dating violence, and what to do if you suspect your child is abusive. In both of these situations, it’s a common bias to think of the victim as a heterosexual girl or woman, and the batterer of a heterosexual boy or man, but dating and domestic violence also occur in same-sex and transgender relationships. In fact, studies show that violence rates may actually be higher in LGBTQ communities. Warning Signs and Stories The warning signs of violence are the same in any relationship, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation or any other trait. A boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse may insult and belittle their partner, control finances, display extreme jealousy, attempt to isolate … Read More

What is Gaslighting and is it Happening to You?

gaslighting

If you recognize any of these signs in your relationship, you might be a victim of gaslighting With the influx of sexual assault and harassment allegations flying around the term “gaslighting” has been used extensively. But what is gaslighting, really? By definition gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. He manipulates her until what she knows to be true becomes what she thinks is true, and then she doesn’t know what’s true at all anymore. Men have used gaslighting as a tactic to quietly discredit women for years. In October, The New Yorker published a report that shows just how Harvey Weinstein gaslighted women. In 2015 during a NYPD sting operation, recording captured Weinstein admitting to groping a model named … Read More

Home for the Holidays: Signs Your Teen Is Abusive

Signs Your Teen Is Abusive

  Generally, when we think of abuse, we come at it from the victim’s perspective. We look for signs we should have recognized and ways we can support them. It’s less common to consider things from the perspective of the abuser’s family, but often someone who abuses a significant other may have shown warning signs or a similar pattern within their own family with a parent or sibling. As you’re gathering for the holidays this year, think about your children’s behavior, and if you’re concerned, here are some warning signs of abuse to look for and steps you can take. Warning Signs Intimidation and Retaliation It’s totally normal for kids, especially teens, to test boundaries and push to get what they want. It’s not normal if you’re afraid of retaliation for saying no. If your … Read More