Rally to End Domestic Violence

On April 27 in Brattleboro, there will be a march and rally in solidarity with survivors of domestic violence. More government funding is needed to provide homes for survivors who can't afford to pay rent. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Brattleboro town common, on Park Place between Linden Street and Putney Road. Vermont Senator Becca Balint will speak at the rally.

More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/144625839397034

The event is being organized by the Brattleboro-based Women's Freedom Center. The group provides shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and educates school children and adults about ways to prevent domestic violence.

Rita Smith is the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She said that, until the 1970s, in the USA there were no shelters for abused women. Now, there are more than 2,000 shelters and service programs. The number of available beds still falls short of the need, but it represents a major increase in emergency assistance.

The problem is the next step, Smith said. Many shelters allow people to stay for as little as 30 days; most allow stays of no more than three months. "The biggest need we see is for housing after the initial crisis," Smith told National Public Radio. "After the shelter, many can't find an affordable place to go. There's nowhere to go, and they're forced back into the violence, simply because of a lack of resources."

Politicians decide how much to invest in helping survivors of domestic violence, versus tax breaks for billionaires, and the military. This year, the USA is set to spend about $1.5 trillion on the military. That's according to:

www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/fy2018piechart_color2.pdf

With 5 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much on the military as the rest of the world combined.

In other news from the Valley, on April 19 at 9:30 a.m., there will be a rally near Greenfield, in Buckland, Massachusetts to protest Governor Charlie Baker's support of construction of new fracked gas pipelines. Baker's Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Matthew Beaton, will be there announcing a new initiative.

The rally will be on the Bridge of Flowers at 22 Water Street in Buckland on the east side of the bridge. The bridge crosses the Deerfield river, and connects Shelburne Falls and Buckland. The rain location is in the McCusker’s Market community room, 3 State Street in Shelburne Falls. More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/119492241932166

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