For Immediate Release - December 07, 2015

AG Healey Announces 98 High Schools Across the State to Participate in Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership

196 Personnel from Schools in Massachusetts to Begin Training in January

LOWELL — Attorney General Maura Healey today announced that 98 schools from six regions across the state have been selected to participate in the first phase of her office’s new anti-violence partnership with the New England Patriots. AG Healey made the announcement during a visit to Greater Lowell Technical High School.

Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership will train 196 school personnel at six regional trainings across Massachusetts. The trainings will be conducted by Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), a nationwide leader in addressing violence prevention. Run by the Center for Sport in Society at Northeastern University, MVP uses a sports-themed curriculum and employs collegiate athletes and former professional athletes as trainers.

“One in three young people has experienced physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse in a relationship. At the high school level, we have a unique opportunity to disrupt that cycle,” AG Healey said. “Thanks to the leadership and support of Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, students in a diverse range of schools and communities will be empowered to play an active role in preventing violence.”

“We are honored to partner with Attorney General Healey to help teach young people about safe and healthy relationships,” Robert Kraft said. “This is a priority for our team, and we are dedicated to supporting both prevention and access to resources for survivors.”

Two adult representatives from each school will participate in the three-day trainings next month. The program will also include online support tools for schools and an evaluation component to determine the effectiveness of the program in changing attitudes and behaviors.

“The Attorney General and the Kraft Family have each been tireless advocates for using sport to promote positive social change,” said Dan Lebowitz, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society. “Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society has embraced that platform for over 30 years and is excited to be a part of this first-of-its kind statewide initiative to empower young people, teachers and coaches with the skills and tools they need to promote healthy relationships and to recognize and prevent teen dating violence in their schools and communities.”

In the second phase of the program, to begin in the fall, MVP will also provide more in-depth trainings to 30 high schools in partnership with local domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy organizations. The organizations will help train school staff and parents and work with school administrators on policies and services for students and families dealing with violence.

Students from each of those schools will also be trained to become peer leaders who can teach younger students about healthy relationships and bystander intervention.

For a full list of the schools selected to participate in the first phase of the program, visit www.mass.gov/ago/gamechange.

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