To the editor of THE EAGLE:
The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence will take place in Pittsfield on Third Thursday, Sept. 19. This is the third year that the march will take place for the benefit of the Elizabeth Freeman Center, the only recognized domestic violence program and rape crisis center in Berkshire County.
As a man, I’m very proud to be a member of the board of directors of EFC, and to be able to support the agency and the incredible job that it does in providing services for the survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence, and in raising awareness of the problem and working to end it. Walk a Mile’s major purpose, besides raising much needed funds for the Elizabeth Freeman Center, is to raise awareness of the fact that sexualized violence and other domestic violence does not just affect women. It affects the men who care about them, their families, their co-workers and their communities.
Statistics show that 1 in 3 American women are physically abused, sexually assaulted, or stalked sometime in their lifetime; that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to girls and women between the ages of 15 and 44; and is the second leading cause of death for pregnant women. That means that someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual violence. It may be your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your wife, your co-worker or your daughter.
By participating in this event and "Walking the Walk," we men are able to say, in a very public way, that we recognize that the issues of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence are issues that affect all of us, and we all have a responsibility to raise awareness about the issue and work toward ending the violence.
Please join me on Sept. 19.
LANNY M. ZUCKERMAN