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Dear Friends,

As we turned the page to 2022, the pandemic accelerated, which means more people are working from home rather than an office. That is likely to once again push the incidence of intimate partner violence higher, as it did last year, when quarantines and lockdowns led to dangerous situations that often had tragic results.

With that backdrop, Congress has edged closer to reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) but has not quite gotten it over the finish line. Final approval is long overdue, and hopefully our elected representatives in Congress will finally put into law the much-needed protections and sufficient resources to keep our friends, our family members and our neighbors safe.

Beyond official action, we must all do what we can to put an end to the scourge of domestic violence, and the horrific impact it has on families. This newsletter highlights just a few of those stories that made headlines recently – in Connecticut, Colorado and Wisconsin – leaving no doubt that this is an issue that deserves greater attention and action in all of our communities.

Silence can be the greatest danger. We need to bring men's voices in greater numbers to what is often inaccurately perceived as a women's issue alone or a family’s personal business. That is why I have spoken out, at Congress and across the country, and will continue to do so. That is why I founded this organization nearly three decades ago. And that is why our work has intensified through the years, in concert and collaboration with allied organizations, and energized by the support of many generous and devoted individuals.

We are all in this together, and it will take all of us to put an end to domestic violence. The numbers are staggering, and too often underestimated, which alarmingly makes the issue easier for some to ignore.
Growing up in New Haven, in my family we were taught to maintain a zero tolerance for violence against women. Period. In 2022, let us all resolve to do more, to say more, to stand together to put an end to domestic violence.

From the outset, our work has always devoted time and attention to the children who face acute trauma in their lives, from domestic violence in their homes or traumatic experiences in their neighborhoods and lives. That commitment led to the development of the Beyond Trauma: Youth Music Therapy program, which is positively impacting young students who participate. Our aim is to replicate this initiative in more communities to reach more young people.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to advance this life-changing, and life-saving, work. Your support fuels this important work and allows us to look forward to a promising New Year ahead.

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Michael Bolton