State leaders urge men and boys to speak out against violence

White Ribbon Day is an international campaign spanning sixty countries

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker and state lawmakers joined hundreds of people at Boston’s Faneuil Hall for White Ribbon Day. The “White Ribbon” campaign encourages men and boys to be a part of the solution to end sexual and domestic violence.

Governor Baker explains awareness on the issue is so important.

“For somebody who feels trapped and cornered, it may be the only thing left for them to grab onto and that’s why events like this are so important,” said Baker.

Gender-based violence happens more often than you may think. The advocacy group Jane Doe Inc. told 22News the statistics are staggering.

“When one in four girls and one in six boys is abused by the time their eighteen, has experienced sexual violence – it is not just heart-wrenching, it’s an epidemic,” said Toni Troop of Jane Doe Inc.

The Massachusetts White Ribbon Day campaign has been going strong for ten years now. Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan said his office continues to see cases of domestic violence year after year.

He said, “It’s our highest caseload, our domestic violence caseload. We’re working on it; we’ve reduced the numbers, but there’s still a tremendous amount of work to be done.

Jane Doe Inc. is trying to encourage more young people to join the campaign against sexual and domestic violence, and that begins with education in schools.

White Ribbon Day is an international campaign spanning sixty countries.