New DA asks men stand up against violence at hoops game

By Staff

This Wednesday, new Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan will lead a group of men and boys in pledging to never commit violence against women at the Massachusetts men’s basketball game against St. Joseph’s at the Mullins Center.

Sullivan will be joined by some 100 men and boys as part of the third-annual White Ribbon Campaign at the University of Massachusetts, according to a Monday morning release from the University’s News and Media Relations Office. The group will come together at halftime of the 7 p.m. game featuring the Minutemen, currently in eighth place in the Atlantic 10 conference, and the Hawks, who sit at thirteenth. The effort is part of this year’s “Stand Up and Be Counted” theme to the campaign. It asks men to pledge “to never commit, condone or remain silent about men’s violence against women” and serves as “a way for men to show their love for the women in their lives,” according to the release.

According to its site, the Toronto, Canada-based White Ribbon Campaign is the world’s largest push by men to eliminate violence against women. The campaign has made its way to some 45 countries, also according to its site. It began in the early 1990s in Canada when a small group of men “decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out about violence against women.” The group decided that donning a white ribbon “would be a symbol of men’s opposition to violence against women.”

The event is being sponsored by the Center for Health Promotion at University Health Services (UHS), the UMass sport management department, the Office of Fraternities and Sororities and the Everywoman’s Center. It is also being supported by UMass Athletics.

Sullivan is a 1981 graduate of UMass’ Isenberg School of Management. In his new role as DA, he serves on an advisory board to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Child Advocacy Center and the Northampton Domestic Violence-Free Zone Committee.

Because of the Presidents’ Day holiday, Sullivan’s offices in Northampton and Greenfield were closed Monday, and calls went straight to his offices’ voicemail systems.

According to the News Office release, domestic violence-related deaths rose by 30 percent in 2009-2010 from the previous year.

Anyone seeking help or assistance with issues related to domestic violence can contact UMass’ Everywoman’s Center’s 24-hour hotline at 413-545-0800.

-Collegian News Staff