Press Release

Press Release Lt. Governor Polito Presents Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Report on Chapter 260 Implementation

For immediate release:
12/09/2015
  • Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Media Contact for Lt. Governor Polito Presents Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Report on Chapter 260 Implementation

William Pitman

BOSTON — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito presented a report from the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence on the implementation status of Chapter 260.  In April, the council was re-launched and elevated to the Governor’s Office to improve the administration’s ability to address the important issues involving domestic violence and sexual assault.  Per Executive Order 563, the council was first tasked with the assessment and implementation of Chapter 260: An Act Relative to Domestic Violence. Chapter 260 was sponsored by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, unanimously passed by the Legislature and signed into law in 2014.

“This council has worked diligently to implement Chapter 260 and execute much needed reforms to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault and make our communities safer,” said Lt. Governor and Council Chairwoman Karyn Polito. “Moving forward, our team is committed to bridging the gap between services and agencies and working together to provide support for survivors and mitigate future instances of violence for our loved ones.”

“We, as public officials and as a society, must do everything in our power to stem the tragic tide of violence against women,” Speaker DeLeo said. “I was proud to spearhead this legislation which represents the strongest, most comprehensive legislation of its type in at least a generation. I thank Lt. Governor Polito, the Baker Administration and the members of the Council for their commitment to seeing these crucial provisions implemented. I also offer my sincere gratitude to the advocates and individuals who so courageously shared their experiences.”  

“Domestic violence is now the leading cause of injury to women in this country. We have made a lot of progress in strengthening our laws in Massachusetts to assist victims and hold offenders accountable, but there is more work to be done to put an end to this epidemic,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “As evidenced by today’s report, the implementation of last year’s landmark legislation is well under way in our state. I thank Governor Baker for convening the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, and Lieutenant Governor Polito and Tammy Mello for their leadership and commitment to address these critical issues.”

The report includes status updates on numerous provisions related to newly implemented trainings and reporting requirements for members of law enforcement and district attorneys.  The Trial Court will also provide biannual domestic violence training to trial court personnel and enforce a series of stricter laws for offenders, such as tougher penalties for domestic assault and limited visitations for a parent convicted of rape.  Additional support services for survivors have been enacted through the Attorney General’s Office to establish employment leave for domestic violence victims.  

At their first meeting in June, the Governor’s Council reviewed each provision of the legislation and created work groups whose charge included an analysis of the provisions of Chapter 260 implementation across the Commonwealth and provide recommendations.  Today during a meeting at the State House, the Council reported on the substantial accomplishments by agencies in the areas of training, guidance to law enforcement and courts, and development of materials and resources for victims and perpetrators.  It also notes areas for improvement and contains recommendations.  The section summaries were developed with assistance from Jane Doe Inc. and the Attorney General’s Office, and the section statuses and recommendations were developed by the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito serves as the chair of the council and former Director of Violence Prevention at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Tammy Mello, serves as Executive Director for the Council.  The Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence consists of 32 members and represents providers, advocates, health care, the Attorney General’s Office, law enforcement, the courts and higher education.  It meets regularly, conducts outreach and establishes committees to carry out tasks. The Executive Director will carry out the day-to-day operations and support for the Council.

Report on the Status of Chapter 260 of the Acts of 2014 An Act Relative to Domestic Violence
Presented on December 9, 2015.

Standing Members

  • Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito (Chair)
  • Executive Director Tammy Mello, Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
  • Secretary Jay Ash, Department of Housing and Economic Development
  • Secretary Daniel Bennett, Department of Public Safety
  • Secretary Marylou Sudders, Department of Health and Human Services

Appointed Members

  • David Adams, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Emerge
  • Christina Bain, Director, Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Babson College
  • Stephanie Brown, CEO, Casa Myrna Vasquez
  • Jim Cuddy, Executive Director, Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council
  • Kim Dawkins, Executive Director, Pathways for Change
  • Duane De Four, Violence Prevention & Response Program Manager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Commissioner Edward Dolan, Office of the Commissioner of Probation
  • Chief Mark Dubois, Maynard Police Department
  • Suzanne Dubus, CEO, Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center
  • District Attorney Joseph Early, Worcester District Attorney, Massachusetts District Attorneys Association
  • Amarely Gutierrez Oliver, Director of Domestic Violence Services, YMCA of Central Massachusetts
  • Sarah Ellis, Deputy General Counsel, Massachusetts District Court
  • Attorney General Maura Healey
  • Mary Reardon Johnson, Director, YMCA of Western Massachusetts
  • Michelle Loranger, Executive Director, Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County
  • Liam Lowney, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Victims Assistance
  • Stacy Malone, Victim Rights Law Center
  • Linda Molchan, SANE, Lawrence General Hospital
  • Sara Perry, Executive Director, The Second Step
  • Paulo Pinto, Executive Director, Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers
  • Debra Robbin, Executive Director, Jane Doe Inc.
  • Emily Rothman, Associate Professor, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Nancy Scannell, Director of Policy and Planning, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
  • Michelle Smith, Executive Director, Health Care Without Walls
  • District Attorney David Sullivan, Northwest District Attorney
  • Molyka Tieng, Advocate, Lowell Community Health Center
  • Vilma Uribe, Community Organizer, The Network/La Red

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Media Contact for Lt. Governor Polito Presents Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Report on Chapter 260 Implementation

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence 

The Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence works to enact best practices to combat issues of sexual assault and domestic violence in order to keep Massachusetts residents safe.

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