In June 2007, Governor Deval Patrick issued Executive Order #486 to create the Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (GCSDV). Secretary Cabral and Secretary Polanowicz co-chair this interdisciplinary council that consists of 30 community-based experts appointed by the Governor, and representatives of various state agencies responsible for sexual and domestic violence service providers throughout the Commonwealth.
Under the Patrick administration, the Council updated and distributed the Massachusetts Policy for Law Enforcement Response to Domestic Violence file size 2MB through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. The Council also released Sexual Assault Law Enforcement Guidelines file size 6MB and broadly disseminated them to law enforcement across the Commonwealth to ensure a comprehensive response to victims of sexual assault. In addition, the Council produced a set of Promising Practices recommendations for communities to follow to determine risk and community response to domestic violence, A Blueprint for Systems Change Re: Domestic Violence , and two reports on Intimate Partner Homicides in Massachusetts: MA Intimate Partner Homicide Review: An overview of DA Cases 2005-2007, Data Collection Survey and Analysis and Analysis of Intimate partner Homicide in Massachusetts: An overview of Supplementary Homicide Report Cases 1986-2007.
Also, at the direction of the Patrick administration, members of the GCSDV and the Administration worked successfully toward passage of two pieces of legislation with great impact on survivors of domestic and sexual violence, “An Act For Greater Protection of Victims of Sexual Abuse and Intimidation: Harassment Restraining Order” and “An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People.”
The Patrick administration has been actively engaged in the annual White Ribbon Day (WRD) event. Massachusetts White Ribbon Day is a Men’s initiative project of Jane Doe, Inc. to change social attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate and make excuses for violence against women, promote safety and respect, foster a positive image of masculinity, and build a network of resounding voices that will support and advance Jane Doe initiatives. In preparation for the 5th annual WRD in the Commonwealth on March 1, 2012, former Lt. Governor Murray hosted a press conference to acknowledge that the Beanpot Hockey Tournament will be sponsoring this year’s White Ribbon Day. Athletic Directors, coaches and hockey team members from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern participated and pledged to speak out against violence against women.