Letter: Harrington's huge step on domestic violence

Posted

To the editor:

I wear a number of hats here in the Berkshires, from my role as a city councilor in North Adams, to my position in regional economic development, to involvement in a variety of community-based initiatives. The vast majority of the time, the hats I wear are those of a positive outlook and community celebration and support. I present this way because I wholeheartedly believe in and love this region, and I see great things happening and wonderful opportunities on the horizon from corner to corner, top to bottom and side to side in the Berkshires.

However, it is imperative that we understand and address problems in our region as well. In the Berkshires, much like in other areas of the world, we have a serious issue with relational, domestic and sexual violence. These unacceptable acts and behaviors, and the incalculable damage that the perpetrators of these behaviors cause for individuals, families, and communities, is more than just a scar; it is an open wound of persisting trauma that must be acknowledged, addressed, and acted upon.

Last week, District Attorney Andrea Harrington and her office took a huge step in a direction of action and implementation that deserves to be highlighted and celebrated as the watershed moment it is. By bringing together a core group of action-oriented regional stakeholders and setting an agenda that is strategic, progressive, innovative and impactful, they have begun building a robust and effective asset to apply to this communitywide issue. The Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, combined with the incredible work being done by organizations like the Elizabeth Freeman Center and bolstered by grassroots community efforts, will continue to move the needle on improving the culture of healthy relationships and the prevention of sexual violence across the Berkshires.

This is work we all need to be a part of, and I encourage you to learn more, engage more deeply, and be a part of a brighter future where we strive to eliminate domestic, relational and sexual violence in all forms and in all communities of our region.

Benjamin Lamb,

North Adams

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