Martha Breunig, YWCA New England Regional Council Resource Consultant
Annually, more than 25,000 women and children who are victims of domestic violence and/or sexual violence incidents seek help from YWCAs across New England. The YWCA is their touchstone, stepping stone, or cornerstone to re-build self-esteem, seek healthy relationships, and create environments free of violence going forward. Among all we serve, RiseUp songs can provide that all important inspirational and motivational boost and help support solid and bright futures.
For the YWCAs of New England, being a part of the Rise Up initiative provides a significant avenue to raise awareness of the effects of domestic and sexual violence as well as of the YWCA and other resources that are available to support victims, hold offenders accountable and create a region free of domestic and sexual violence.
Being a part of Rise Up is key to efforts throughout New England to prevent domestic and sexual violence and support victims. Across the region in 2009, more than 43,000 incidents were reported. Service providers are not seeing any decreases and in Vermont, a 24% increasewas recorded among victims of sexual violence. In Massachusetts last year more than 2,000 calls were made to domestic violence hotlinesin one hour. These statistics and these trends compel us to support victims and act in a multitude of ways to end domestic and sexual violence