Campaign brings awareness to gender-based violence


Vineyard men are standing out against violence toward women and other forms of gender-based violence for the 13th annual White Ribbon Day campaign on Thursday, March 5.

According to a press release from Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS), their Connect to End Violence program and Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s SWEAR (Stand With Everyone Against Rape) program will be encouraging men to pledge to wear a white ribbon on White Ribbon Day.

In the release, co-advisor of SWEAR Matthew Malowski said, “By wearing a white ribbon, men and boys will show they do not tolerate or condone men’s violence toward women, men, or children.”

Connect to End Violence will be holding events at local businesses around the Island to gain signatures, pass out white ribbons, and provide information on how people can take part.


  1. Considering the sheer number of apparently female names in the District Court Report having been charged with assault crimes, I guess it is too much to ask Connect to End Violence they be inclusive of ALL perpetrators, rather than stigmatizing one gender, with the inference males have created a monopoly in this area. I would think those victims are no less deserving of such support.

  2. James, here’s reality check for you from the World Health Org:
    Key facts:
    “Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.
    Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
    Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.
    Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.
    Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings.
    Men are more likely to perpetrate violence if they have low education, a history of child maltreatment, exposure to domestic violence against their mothers, harmful use of alcohol, unequal gender norms including attitudes accepting of violence, and a sense of entitlement over women.
    Women are more likely to experience intimate partner violence if they have low education, exposure to mothers being abused by a partner, abuse during childhood, and attitudes accepting violence, male privilege, and women’s subordinate status.
    There is evidence that advocacy and empowerment counselling interventions, as well as home visitation are promising in preventing or reducing intimate partner violence against women.
    Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence, such as by intimate partners, as well as and non-partner sexual violence, and may also lead to new forms of violence against women.”

    Also, James, I’m sure you understand that most incidents of domestic violence go unreported, and most are male against female, and that is as true here on the island as in other places. And to keep it real and local, most of the island’s drunk drivers are not caught and so do not appear in the court report.

  3. Charging crimes by gender is akin to the hate crime laws. When you create hate crimes you are suggesting that from now on all crimes will be motivated by love. In this case all crimes of any import are male gender crimes. What will the next category be? Transgender crimes or LGBTQ crimes?

    • Who’s charging any crime, Andrew? This is about awareness. Why does awareness of rape and violence against women get you so worked up?

  4. Jackie, you brought up some excellent facts from a very credible source. Thank you.
    However my focus was on the perpetrators of this scourge, not the victims in this instance.
    The singular focus on males, to the exclusion of the other half of the world, does a grave disservice to the victims (males or females) of assaults and violence.
    I mean we can pretend that only males commit violence, so female lapels are free of these white ribbons, not sure what that solves.
    Even your own figures address nothing on the gender of the perpetrator. This is a problem.
    Gender focused targeting is not only discriminatory, it ignores the well documented female perpetrators of violence.

    • More awareness of the problem impacting the most people who happen to be female, 1 in 3, at the hands of mostly stronger males does not ignore any other crimes by any other groups. There are female terrorist murderers as well, although domestically, I believe, so far, these crazies are all male. Even this off-topic example does not take away from the positive need for especial awareness of unreported domestic violence against women by men here on the island. Awareness is a good thing, James, and it does not take away from any cases of female violence against women, men, or children.

  5. So the work my colleagues and I have been doing has been about education and awareness. It is not uncommon to be met with defensiveness. As we know there are many causes in our world, and sadly everyone of those causes should get our 100 percent undivided attention. Whether that cause is environmental, human rights, animal rights, or other noble cause. This is a cause many of our male students, and young men on Martha’s Vineyard and at Martha’s Vineyard Regional HS have found to be important. The data is overwhelming on the amount of violence caused by one human to another at the hands of a male or males. By raising this awareness does not invalidate, nor ignore the harm caused by females. Rather many of the men on MV and our students have felt that this epidemic needs our awareness and March 5th is a day for us to do just that. I am happy to meet with anyone, especially men, who want to talk about this issue. Please reach out to me and I am happy to talk. We have groups on social media. Check out MOVE on MV, SWEAR MV, and CONNECT to end violence that you can find on Instagram and Facebook. Jackie’s statistics and thoughts are accurate and should make us pause to think about how real those numbers are. I do not fault men for feeling defensive about this topic. When you consider that most of the men in the world do the right thing, or at least do not cause harm. 10 percent of men in our world cause harm, which means 90 percent of our men are good people. But why do 10 percent of our men in the world consume so much of our attention? What can the 90 percent do to help eliminate the actions of the 10 percent? That is what drives us. That drives our students and those who wear a white ribbon on March 5th. That is what White Ribbon Day is about. Come watch our student athletes raise awareness by coming to the boys basketball game Feb 12 at 4:30, the girls basketball game Feb 14 at 4:30, the boys hockey game Feb15 at 7 pm, and the girls hockey game Feb 16th at 1:00. Men, open your mind. Set aside that initial defensiveness you might feel, and consider what you can do in your circles to end men’s violence against others. If you want advice on how to do that contact me and let’s figure it out.

  6. ”90 percent of the worlds men are good people’? By what standard do you think man is good? GK Chesterton mentioned that ” original sin is the most verifiable fact of human history” If only a few of us are really bad how will the rest of us gin up the moral certainty and courage to stop them? If you want to define goodness as not robbing banks and not harming anyone–ok. However none of us can keep the law of Moses for example–non of us. Maybe that is not something you try to keep. ok. But dont tell us man is basically good while looking around the world for empirical evidence.

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