The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 7, 2000


Domestic violence roundtable discussion takes place in Carlisle

"Roundtables and ResourcesCommunity Approaches to Domestic Violence" was held at the Carlisle Congregational Church on December 15 and featured members from three community roundtables, the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Middlesex District Attorney's Office.

Nancy James of Concord noted that local efforts began in the early '90s with people who "had a great need to gather and support one another" around domestic violence issues. To foster the longtime goal, the Concord-Carlisle Domestic Violence Roundtable finalized its vision and mission statements. Input from the presenters provided the local team with ideas to consider as they develop plans and programs.

Deborah Kenealy, an attorney and member of the Sudbury-Lincoln-Wayland Roundtable, stressed the importance of incorporating as a non-profit organization. This process helps to facilitate fundraising, limit liability and create organizational structure.

Sue Baldauf, a member of the Bedford Roundtable, cited three essentials for building a strong coalition: have a reason to come together and stay together; have a diversity of interests, skills and abilities; and have flexibility and adaptability. "It is important to listen to the community and its membership, and take it from there," she summarized.

The Ayer Area Regional Roundtable was represented by co-chair Dianne Fasano, a probation officer with Ayer District Court. The group has designed and distributed palm cards and sponsored educational programs in the schools and the community at large.

Nora Mann, an assistant district attorney from the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, discussed services that the office has available to the 54 towns it serves. These include training, education, legal and victim services as well as information about investigation and prosecution procedures. Mann coordinates resources between community roundtable coalitions and the Domestic Violence Division of the Middlesex Family Protection Unit.

Susan Webb, director of public health and education at the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), noted that in 1992 the American Medical Association finally "brought domestic violence as a medical issue to the forefront." The MMS membership has grown to 17,000 physicians dedicated to promoting medical knowledge and advocacy for patients experiencing domestic abuse. MMS has developed a groundbreaking school curriculum on domestic violence which has served as a model in other states and countries.

Carlisle resident Ed LeClair shared his involvement with Men for HAWC, a group whose purpose is to create a forum for men to speak out and support victims of violence. These men, which number over 100, meet and work within communities. "It's a great way to take action," he stated. He was wearing a white ribbon symbolizing that "they will not tolerate, stand for or stand by violence."

Additional community members who attended the meeting were Police Chief David Galvin; Barbara Howland of Concord-Carlisle Community Chest; Priscilla Tobey of Boundaries Counseling; and Jo Romaniello of Connectives.

The next meeting is scheduled for January 26, 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord. All are welcome. For more information about CCDVCAT contact Jo Romaniello at 369-3048.

Barbara Howland is the executive director of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito