Over the past month, REACH Prevention staff have had several opportunities to participate in panel discussions. Each of these panels provided a wonderful opportunity to engage audiences in a dialogue about domestic violence that incorporated a variety of voices and perspectives.
On October 17th, REACH facilitated a panel at the Boston Public Library entitled, “Beyond Shelter: Support Services Available to Survivors of Domestic Violence.” Survivors of abuse are often directed to seek shelter, without learning of other resources or services that they could utilize. There are not nearly enough domestic violence shelter beds available for the number of people experiencing abuse every day in Massachusetts and shelter isn’t the right option for everyone; there are many other resources beyond shelter to support survivors of intimate partner violence. Recognizing this challenge, this panel brought together six local programs that support survivors of domestic violence, including ATASK (Asian Taskforce Against Domestic Violence), The Network/La Red, Transition House, Believe in Success, the Tenant Advocacy Project, and Casa Myrna.
On October 25th, REACH moderated a panel of three members of our Survivor Speakers Bureau entitled, “Reclaiming our Voices: Surviving Domestic Violence” hosted by the Boston Public Library. Each panelist shared their experiences with domestic violence and how they got connected to REACH. Through sharing their stories, the panelists educated audience members about warning signs and the impact of domestic violence, how agencies like REACH can assist survivors and their families, and how to support a loved one who is experiencing abuse.
REACH’s Community Engagement Specialist, Lauren Montanaro, was invited to speak on a panel entitled “Breaking the Silence: Confronting Domestic Violence in LGBTQIA Communities” at Brandeis University on October 25th. Panelists also included Erin Miller from Newton-Wellesley Hospital, as well as Damián Lima of the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center. This panel focused on the existence of, prevalence, and supports for survivors of domestic violence within the LGBTQIA communities. This panel was sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Center, Intercultural Center, Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center, Women and Gender Studies Department at Brandeis University.
On November 1st, Director of Prevention Programs, Jessica Teperow, joined members of Berklee College of Music’s Feminist Faculty Alliance for the panel presentation, “Sexual Harassment: Case Study of a College in Distress” at the Women Studies Research Center (WSRC) at Brandeis University. The panel, moderated by WSRC scholar and Berklee professor Dr. Suzanne Hanser, focused on the events following the Boston Globe article “Berklee let teachers quietly leave after alleged sex abuse, and pushed students for silence” published in November 2017. Jessica, who provided training to several groups of stakeholders at Berklee last winter, addressed the need for college campuses to create a culture that supports survivors and holds abusers accountable. We were especially pleased to have the president of Berklee college and Brandeis University’s Provost in attendance for this conversation.
If you are interested in scheduling a panel discussion in your community, please contact Jessica Teperow at Jessica@reachma.org