Local Leaders Make Pledge To End Violence Against Women

Independence House Executive Director Lysetta Hurge-Putnam

YARMOUTH – The stabbing of a Cotuit woman earlier this week was on the minds of local leaders Thursday in Yarmouth while discussing the issue of domestic violence for White Ribbon Day.

The campaign is an international effort that calls on men and boys to pledge not to commit violence against women and girls and to be a solution to end gender based violence.

“It’s really about good men, men who do not condone violence,” said Lysetta Hurge-Putnam, the executive director of Independence House, an organization which provides services for individuals and families affected by domestic violence.

“It’s about men stepping up and taking a pledge to be part of the solution to ending men’s violence against women and violence in all its forms.”

Hurge-Putnam said by taking the pledge men commit to challenge the social norms that contribute to ongoing gender violence.

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said the issue is generational.

“If we don’t give [younger people] bad messages they have an innate sense that boys and girls are equal,” O’Keefe said. “They have a much easier time accepting that idea than people of my generation who grew up in a certain culture.”

O’Keefe said there are fewer domestic violence cases now than in the past but work still needs to be done to prevent incidents like the murder of Mary Fratantonio Tuesday.

Her husband Christopher Fratantonio faces charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

State Representative Tim Whelan (R-Brewster) said the first thing men need to do to be part of the solution is to change the culture.

He said all relationships go through difficult times and that violence and control is not the answer.

“It’s about communicating that the way to deal with these difficult periods is through communication, thoughtful approach and respect,” Whelan said.

The White Ribbon Day event at Irish Village was a collaboration between Independence House, Yarmouth Police and the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.


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