hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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March 13, 2014

Taking a stand against violence

Men, boys pledge to fight harm against females

They are taking a stand to promote peace.

Men and boys from the community were invited to join YWCA Haverhill and state and local leaders last week in making a public pledge to end violence against women.

The event, part of the statewide White Ribbon Day Proclamation event sponsored by Jane Doe Inc., was at the YWCA,107 Winter St.

Among those attending was Mayor James Fiorentini; representatives from the Police Department; Paul Muzhuthett, regional director of the state Department of Public Health; concerned citizens; and members of the business and nonprofit communities.

“The White Ribbon Day Campaign makes an important statement to the community by enlisting men and boys to personally commit to ending violence against women,’’ said Renee McGuire, YWCA Haverhill site director. “We are a proud participant and appreciate the efforts of Jane Doe Inc. to spearhead this movement in Massachusetts.’’

Andy Polanco, dropout prevention outreach specialist at Haverhill High School, administered the pledge.

“This event gives men and boys an important opportunity to voice their commitment to join the fight to end violence against women,’’ Polanco said.

Gov. Deval Patrick kicked off this year’s White Ribbon Day Campaign on Dec. 6, the 24th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when a gunman killed 14 women in a college engineering class, saying he was “fighting feminism.’’

Jane Doe Inc. founded the MA WRD Campaign seven years ago to help end male violence against women by having men take a public stand.

The YWCA offers after-school care and community domestic violence services. For information about the YWCA, call 978-374-6121. For information about Jane Doe Inc., visit www.janedoe.org/whiteribbonday.

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