PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nine people have died from domestic violence in Bekshire County in the last three years.
Requests for restraining orders is 33 percent higher in Berkshire County than in the rest of the state.
"Those are indicators that we have a problem," says District Attorney Andrea Harrington, describing it as a public health issue as much as a crime issue.
Harrington's office, through the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, is bringing award-winning journalist Rachel Louise Snyder to Pittsfield to speak about her latest book, "No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us."
Snyder will be at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The presentation is part of the task force's "One Book, One Community" project in conjunction with the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
Harrington said the book had been recommended to her and that she had been "blown away" upon reading it.
"It offers a road map of what it is that I would like to do here in Berkshire County to address the problem that we have of domestic violence," she said during a recent interview. "And we do have a serious problem here with domestic violence."
The task force, established by her office, and working with partners had ensured that copies were made available locally, especially to law enforcement and judges.
There have been more than 30 book club events related to the book since October and some 300 people have already reserved seats for the presentation.
"This is a great way for our community to work across many different sectors on a really significant public health challenge," the district attorney said.
Harrington said the book shows that there are solutions to domestic violence, once you throw out the old gender stereotypes.
"If we have good investigations, if we have effective laws, if we have people who are communicating across the community ... if we ask ourselves why does the perpetrator continue to use violence against loved ones?" she said.
Snyder's book offers a guide for systematic change in how to address the issue of domestic violence. She determined proven strategies after years of studying cases and analyzing best practices to address the issue.
Her research looks at abusers and the abused, caseworkers, investigators, mental health and poverty, and the "myths" of domestic abuse.
"The stories are devastating, but Snyder keeps us reading by pointing us toward possible solutions," write The Washington Post in its review.
The Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force organized the event. Greylock Federal Credit Union, Williams College, The Berkshire Eagle, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Theater Group, MountainOne, Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, A-List Luxury Vehicles, 18 Degrees, the Berkshire Immigrant Center, Beacon Cinema, Images Cinema, Triplex Cinema, and Hotel on North are sponsoring the presentation.
First responders, health providers, and educators will receive continuing education credits for attending; 18 Degrees is providing child care and the Berkshire Immigrant Center is providing Spanish and American Sign Language interpretation.
A reception and book signing will follow with catering from Naturally.
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EforAll Showcase and Gala at Hot Plate Brewing Company
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County will celebrate the nine graduates of the 2023 Spring Accelerator Program and award nearly $7,000 in seed capital at their Showcase and Gala at Hot Plate Brewing Company on Thursday, June 8 at 5:30pm.
Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County (EforAll) began its seventh Accelerator in February 2023 and will celebrate the nine businesses who have completed this intensive program. They spent 12 weeks learning from experts on a variety of topics about business. With the help of 27 volunteer mentors, the entrepreneurs have developed their plans to build and sustain their businesses.
The ceremony will feature pitches from nine graduates, a speech presented by one of the graduating cohort members, and distribution of the $7,000 prize pool. Prior to the ceremony, the graduates have been invited to table and showcase their businesses as well as sell goods between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. The ceremony will begin at 6:30pm.
The event will begin at 5:30pm on Thursday, June 8.
These kits include outlet covers, a rubber duck that ensure that bath water is at the right temperature, and pamphlets with tips for new mothers after being discharged from the hospital.
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