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Author Rachel Louise Snyder will be speaking about her writing on domestic abuse this Thursday at the Colonial Theatre.

'No Visible Bruises': Presentation on Domestic Abuse Slated Thursday

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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.
The doors open at 5 p.m. and the presentation will start at 5:30 p.m. The event is free but those wishing to attend should reserve seat through theater's page here.

Tags: books,   domestic violence,   

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Pittsfield Panel Supports New Lee Bank Site Proposal

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Community Development Board on Tuesday passed two special permits and a site plan for the build of Lee Bank's new location on the corner of Reed Street and South Street.

The bank's site plan was approved with a recommendation that only the 290-foot portion of Reed Street that fronts the location be converted into two-lane traffic. Originally, the applicants favored converting the whole street to two-way traffic for accessibility.

The structure, which will consist of a first-floor bank and second-floor residential units, was granted a waiver for loading zone requirements and an exception for a maximum setback of 25 feet from Reed Street

A setback exception was approved with the condition that the applicants submit a more detailed landscaping plan and have the bank's sign mounted on the building rather than on the lawn. In the recently established Downtown Creative District, there is a maximum setback of 15 feet for all structures.

Project team James Scalise of SK Design Group and Anthony Allegrone of Allegrone Construction represented Lee Bank at the meeting. Lee Bank President Charles "Chuck" Leach was also in attendance.

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