News Brief: Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign

Task force heading Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force and the Elizabeth Freeman Center are partnering with area businesses and nonprofits on a community book read, culminating with the author speaking at the Colonial Theatre in February.

Throughout the month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the task force is asking the community to join in reading “No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us” by Rachel Louise Snyder.

Snyder’s book presents a clear plan for systemic change to effectively end domestic violence through case studies and analyzing best practices. The book is ultimately a manifesto that turns regressive notions about the causes of domestic violence on its head by illustrating domestic violence as a public health problem with solutions.

The Bookstore in Lenox and the Bookloft in Great Barrington are donating a percentage of the proceeds from any sales to the Elizabeth Freeman Center during the month of October. The Berkshire County Superintendents’ Roundtable has purchased a copy for every high school.

Numerous community groups have agreed to read along and host discussions about the topic throughout the county, including Berkshire Community College Women’s Center, Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, Working Cities, 18 Degrees’ Young Parent Support Program, MassHire, Men Initiating Change, NAACP, Community Health Programs in Great Barrington, Greylock Together, Berkshire Business and Professional Women, and the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office. The discussions will be attended by members of the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force.

Greylock Federal Credit Union is underwriting the purchase of copies of the book to distribute to community members.

The Beacon Cinema will be playing domestic violence awareness service announcements on its movie screens before and after showings.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, Snyder will be providing a free lecture at the Colonial Theatre. The discussion will count as professional development credits for educators, health care workers and first responders. Both the Colonial Theatre and Hotel on North are sponsors for that event but further sponsorship opportunities will be available.

The Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force formed earlier this year under the auspices of the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office. The task force is comprised of experts in various related fields — from health care to police to schools to government — representing the entire geographic span of Berkshire County focused on ending domestic and sexual violence in the Berkshires.

“This book challenges the notion that victims are to blame in an amazing and powerful way. We are grateful to our community partners for supporting the work of our Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force to change regressive attitudes surrounding domestic violence and advocate for systemic change,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.