For Immediate Release - October 27, 2011

D.A. Blodgett Observed Domestic Violence Awareness Month With Trainings and Events

In October, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett conducted a variety of events and activities in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  “Domestic violence is a reality for far too many people in Essex County and throughout the state.  During the month of October, we try to to engage the broader community in training and awareness raising activities,” Blodgett said.

District Attorney Blodgett co-sponsored a training session on elder abuse for clergy on October 17 at St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody.  “Elder abuse is widely under-reported and often goes unnoticed.  We want to ensure that members of the clergy have the tools to recognize and respond to this issue,” Blodgett said.  Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership and the Elder Justice Network of the Greater North Shore also co-sponsored the event.

Every year, District Attorney Blodgett takes time to recognize domestic violence service agencies and individuals for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.  “This is a challenging field and those who are on the front lines need to be reminded that their work makes a difference and is appreciated.”  This year, 140 domestic violence advocates, police officers, mental health professionals and others gathered at the Peabody City Hall on October 20th and heard a powerful story of survival, courage and hope from a local woman who recently escaped from an abusive marriage in another state.

The District Attorney’s Office also mailed domestic violence materials to hair salons throughout the County in a community outreach effort modeled on the national Cut It Out campaign.  “The hair salon is one of the few places where a domectic violence victim may be allowed to go alone and on a regular basis.  A salon professional is in a unique position to identify a victim as well as provide a safe place to access help,” Blodgett said.

In early November, the District Attorney’s Office is offering a training on “Healthy Relationships for Teens” a program developed by the Gloucester Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Partnership.  Middle and High School teachers, nurses and guidance counselors and police officers are invited to attend.

“Domestic violence and its related problems of elder abuse and teen dating abuse must be confronted by all sectors of the community.  Only through greater awareness and understanding will we be able to get victims the help that they need and hold the abusers accountable for their actions,” Blodgett said.