By Marjorie Nesin
---- — A group of Gloucester men and women will gather at Cape Ann Savings Bank park during their Valentine’s Day lunch breaks, starting at 12:15 p.m. — all standing in a moment of silent recognition, insisting that we can and will stop violence against women.
One Billion Rising, the international group that organized the global event and is inviting cities like Gloucester to participate, writes that one in every three women and girls will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. The event’s purpose, with groups gathering internationally on Valentine’s Day, is to raise awareness about these abuses.
Gloucester is no stranger to domestic violence, with arrests each week pertaining to those charges — in many cases, acts committed against women. Police regularly report incidents of women being slapped, pushed, thrown and struck in private residences and in public.
That’s why local groups like Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC), the North Shore Rape Crisis Center (NSRCC) and the Gloucester Coalition for the Prevention of Domestic Abuse invite area residents to join in the moment of silence at the Cape Ann Savings Bank Park on 101 Main St. Thursday at 12:15 p.m.
“On Valentine’s Day, we all think about the people we love and so we’re thinking about positive relationships, which is great,” said Sunny Robinson, who co-chairs the coalition. “It’s trying to use the positive energy of Valentine’s Day to get us to see all the women in the world who are still suffering.”
The organizations are encouraging those who cannot attend the public event to organize for their colleagues to stand in silence at their workplaces on Valentine’s Day at that time.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at email@example.com.