October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and as a member of Interval House’s Men Make a Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence™ initiative as well as a friend and supporter of the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, it’s important I share our mission and message with others. In addition to my role as President of the Petit Family Foundation (which has financially supported many efforts for those affected by domestic violence in many of the centers throughout the state for 10 years now), I have also worked in my first term in the State House of Representatives to support efforts to help victims of crime in general and specifically those affected by domestic violence. As a member of Men Make a Difference, I’ve pledged, along with dozens of other men like Senator Richard Blumenthal and CT Attorney General George Jepsen, to do all we can to break this cycle of violence. I joined this group because domestic violence unravels the fabric of our society and is horribly damaging. It affects women, children and men destroying families and is especially damaging to children who represent our future.
Studies show that domestic violence impacts 1 in 4 women; 1 in 7 men; and 1 in 3 dating teens from all walks of life. Anyone looking for help, to help, or for information about services can call the statewide 24-hour hotline: 888-774-2900. The physical injuries, psychological damage and long-term negative health impact for adults and their children creates enormous barriers to overcome for those directly affected as well as their families, friends and colleagues. People often need to be re-housed, get medical care, and emotional support all while continuing to care for their families and trying to work and support them. Recovering from abuse and rebuilding your life is an arduous task that requires a team effort and a lot of courage.
Our Men Make a Difference group has distributed more than 20,000 brochures and training materials, raised money for the cause against domestic violence, and spoken to thousands of area residents — mostly boys and young men. Our message and mission is clear: there is never an excuse for domestic violence. For more than 40 years, both Prudence Crandall Center and Interval House have provided help and hope for hundreds of thousands of people affected by domestic violence. This insidious cycle of abuse doesn’t discriminate, it destroys families of all economic backgrounds and reaches into all cultures and communities.
During this month, in particular, it’s important for all of us to recommit ourselves to ending domestic violence and make sure this social malady is eradicated forever. I encourage you to volunteer your time and talent at the domestic violence program that serves your area.
Sincerely, William A. Petit, Jr. MD
State Representative, 22nd district