The numbers speak for themselves:
- In Fiscal Year 2006, 2,582 unduplicated incidents of sexual assault were reported to the 17 DPH-funded rape crisis centers and Llamanos, the statewide Spanish language helpline (MA Dept. of Public Health, 2008)
- 15% of MA high school females reported experiencing sexual contact against their will (MA Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2007)
- From 2005 to 2007, domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts rose by 275% (Jane Doe, Inc.)
If women and girls cannot pursue their dreams and achieve their goals in communities that are safe and that value their humanity, our communities will not thrive. The systemic entrenchment of gender-based violence must be publicly addressed and dismantled.
Women and girls will live in a world where the media, our policy makers, and popular culture reject violence against them and work to eliminate all forms and representations of gender-based violence. The number of women holding public office, as well as the number of women sitting in the board rooms and executive offices of the media industry, will increase by substantial percentages.