For Immediate Release - December 23, 2015

AG’s Office Awards Grants to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Organizations for Game Change Partnership with New England Patriots

Six Organizations Will Participate in the Anti-Violence Initiative

BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that her office has selected six domestic violence and sexual assault (DV/SA) prevention organizations to receive more than $250,000 in grant funding to partner with and provide support to schools participating in Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership.

The grant recipients are: Womanshelter/Compañeras in Holyoke, Pathways for Change, Inc. in partnership with the YWCA of Central Massachusetts in Worcester, the YWCA of Greater Lawrence, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence Inc. in Waltham, New Hope, Inc. in Attleboro and Independence House, Inc. in Hyannis.

“These organizations do exceptional work providing prevention education to communities and resources to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault across our state,” said AG Healey. “As we begin training students and school personnel in the fundamentals of healthy relationships and how to recognize signs of abuse, it’s important that schools are supported with access to crisis intervention and counseling services. These and many other great organizations are on the front lines, and they bring an invaluable expertise to this initiative.”

“Today’s announcement underscores the importance of private-public partnerships, including the expertise of local sexual and domestic violence programs, to support prevention efforts,” said Debra J. Robbin, Executive Director of Jane Doe Inc. “It’s clear that Game Change is serious about changing the way that issues of gender-based violence will be addressed in our schools and communities. We congratulate the grant recipients and participating schools and know that we will all learn from their experience about how best to engage students, teachers and administrators, coaches, and parents to create a culture free of violence and abuse for our youth.”

“Ending sexual and domestic violence is a top priority for our team and our foundation,” said Robert Kraft. “We are committed to supporting both prevention and access to resources for survivors, and are proud to partner with these organizations in that work.”

During phase one, staff from each organization will participate in the regional trainings in their area alongside participants from selected schools. 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.

The AG’s Office will select 30 high schools to receive more in-depth training for school staff, students, parents and administrators for phase two of the program, to begin in the fall. During phase two, the DV/SA provider in each region will help train school staff and parents and will 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.

The AG’s Office will continue to partner with other area sexual assault and domestic violence provider organizations to ensure schools have the resources they need to help students combat relationship violence.

The AG’s Office earlier this monthannounced the 98 schools that will participate in the Game Change program.