Cape Cod Men to Take Pledge to End Violence Against Women

YARMOUTH – A Cape Cod organization which provides services for individuals affected by domestic or sexual abuse is asking men and boys to take a pledge to end violence against women.

Men of all ages are encouraged to attend Independence House’s annual White Ribbon Day event Thursday at the Irish Village in Yarmouth to take the pledge. The event is a collaboration with the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office and the Yarmouth Police Department.

Independence House Director of Prevention Chris Morin said this year’s event will emphasize what it means to take the pledge.

“Most men do not abuse, but most men do not know how to step out of that box to tell a neighbor, friend or coach who might be saying something demeaning to women or making a joke [that they shoudn’t,]” Morin said.

Morin said the pledge is a personal commitment to end violence against women and children and promotes respect and equality.

“By speaking out against these attitudes we are also saying ‘I am willing to be an active bystander to stop any kind of sexism or homophobia or racism,” she said.

Domestic violence and sexual abuse against women has been brought to the forefront this year with the #MeToo movement, which has seen several high-profile women share their stories.

“When women come forward they are starting to be heard,” Morin said. “And we need it to stay with us, the #MeToo campaign.”

Guest speakers will include Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe, County Sheriff Jim Cummings and U.S. Senate Candidate Beth Lindstrom.

The event runs from 9 to 11 a.m. and is open to the public.

The White Ribbon Campaign began in 1991 after 14 female students were targeted because of their gender and killed by a gunman at the University of Montreal.

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