By: Gary Gottlieb, MD, Partners HealthCare President and CEO

Tags: community

White Ribbon Banner. Photo credit: Matt Bennett/Governor's Office

Photo credit: Matt Bennett/Governor's Office (Creative Commons)

This year, I have the honor of partnering with some terrific, very dedicated people who are working to end sexual and domestic violence. As a speaker at Jane Doe Inc.’s annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day ceremony next week, I am urging men everywhere to take a stand against violence against women.

Each one of us is affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. And each one of us has a responsibility – to support the women in our lives.

As a health care system, Partners is committing some of the best and the brightest caregivers to preventing and intervening against all forms of violence and abuse. Our nurses, doctors and other response specialists at our hospitals and community health centers work to provide pathways to safety and security.

For example, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) violence is appropriately considered a public health issue and as an issue of health equity. African American male teenagers, 15-19, are six times more likely to be homicide victims as their white peers, and on average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in our country. This is heartbreaking and unacceptable.

This is a big part of the reason why the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Health Care Center in Revere is reaching out to our young people and shining a light on Teen Dating Violence. Programs like The Women’s After Care Clinic and Passageway at BWH and Men Against Abuse and HAVEN at MGH are providing services for patients, employees and community members who are experiencing intimate partner violence.

On the North Shore, North Shore Medical Center is a dedicated supporter of HAWC, which serves hundreds of domestic violence victims in 23 communities each year – providing support for adults and children, legal assistance and much more for North Shore residents.

At Newton-Wellesley Hospital, sexual assault nurse examiners are using telemedicine to provide more tools to clinicians across the country so they can better respond to patients and communities affected by sexual assault.

And at McLean, the Hill Center for Women is offering women with histories of trauma psychiatric and psychological services in a safe, supportive and empathic environment.

Our mission to provide the best care possible to our patients in all of the communities we serve grows stronger every day.

Doing this work also requires collaboration. We value our relationship with Jane Doe Inc., the state coalition against sexual and domestic violence, and are proud that three of our programs – Passageway, HAVEN and Newton Wellesley – are members of the coalition. We are honored to take part in this year’s White Ribbon Day Campaign and ask you to consider taking the White Ribbon Day pledge and help us end violence against women. Together we can prevent this violence. Thank you.

Learn more about White Ribbon Day.