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The resolution was chosen to align with national NO MORE Day, an initiative to unify all advocacy organizations and community members that support ending domestic violence and sexual assault across the country
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 15, 2013
CONTACT: Reza C. Clifton at RICADV: (401) 467-9940; Cell: (401) 497-5246
Wednesday, amidst national and local activity to build awareness for ending domestic violence and sexual assault, the Rhode Island General Assembly issued a commitment of its own: the declaration of March 13, 2013 as NO MORE Day in Rhode Island.
The announcement, which is archived on the General Assembly's website and records, coincided with a community gathering at the State House organized by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence – in response to the serious issue of Governor Lincoln D. Chafee's proposed budget cuts to programs and services that are vital in saving the lives of domestic and sexual abuse victims. The event was also part of National NO MORE Day, an initiative to publicly launch the NO MORE campaign, which here in RI has been building momentum since last year. To mark the occasion locally, RICADV, its member agencies (Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center, Sojourner House, Women's Center of Rhode Island and the Women's Resource Center), and Day One invited allies, advocates and the general public to talk with legislators and public officials about the severe impact these detrimental cuts will have on Rhode Island's future—one that should be free of domestic violence and sexual assault, but cannot be if this plan is enacted.
Upon entering their respective chambers, House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Elaine A. Coderre (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket) and Senator Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Senate Majority Whip, Providence) introduced resolutions to the RI House of Representatives and Senate to make March 13, 2013 NO MORE Day, and each body passed the resolution. RICADV was also recognized during both sessions for the organization's work in the movement to end domestic violence.
Representative Coderre and Senator Goodwin are long-time supporters of RICADV and powerful allies in the movement to end domestic violence, and both acknowledged that in passing the resolution, the impact of the day would 1) be felt for years to come and 2) serve as a permanent reminder to all Rhode Islanders to pledge NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault. That is, in part, because the resolution includes language recognizing that there are 205,000 victims in the State who experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes and that domestic violence poses a major public health crisis, not only for the significant others who fall victim to these horrific acts, but also for the children who suffer through the experience and the community that often feels powerless when DV incidences occur.
The resolution also includes the following language about NO MORE Day: "WHEREAS, 'NO MORE Day' serves as a symbol of commitment to ending domestic violence and sexual assault in Rhode Island and across the nation; and WHEREAS, 'NO MORE Day' will also serve as a national symbol to bring awareness to issues of domestic violence and sexual assault that all too often get overlooked; now, therefore be it RESOLVED, That this (Senate/House) of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby recognizes March 13, 2013, as 'NO MORE Day,' a day that will be known as the nation's call to end domestic violence and sexual assault."
Deborah DeBare, RICADV Executive Director, commended the General Assembly for publicly making a commitment to ending Domestic Violence in RI. "I am also happy," she said "that the legislators took time to hear from the members of their constituency who joined us at the State House to raise their voices in opposition to these cuts. It is important for members of the public to know that their views and concerns matter, and it is important that our legislators be reminded that domestic violence happens in every community in RI."
To see the entire resolution, visit http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText13/SenateText13/S0704.pdf. For more information about Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, visit www.ricadv.org or find out about the NO MORE Campaign in RI by visiting www.nomoreri.org.
The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the six domestic violence prevention agencies in Rhode Island. The organization also provides leadership to its six member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island.
1) House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Elaine A. Coderre (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket), RICADV Legislative Coordinator Rachel Orsinger and Elvia Sanchez of SOAR – Survivors Overcoming Abusive Relationships (RICADV's taskforce) – pose after both houses pass the NO MORE Day resolution.
2) Mary Roda, Executive Director of RICADV member agency Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County (DVRCSC), poses with Representative Teresa Tanzi, one of the legislators who serves her catchment area.
3) Staff and volunteers from RICADV and its 6 member agencies (Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center, Sojourner House, Women's Center of Rhode Island and the Women's Resource Center), along with members of RICADV task force SOAR (Survivors Overcoming Abusive Relationships) pose with House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Elaine A. Coderre (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket), after both the House and Senate passed the NO MORE Day resolution.