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Lynch, Hodes Call on NH Men to Stand Up for Women

April 29, 2008

Concord, NH - Gov. John Lynch and Congressman Paul Hodes are standing up for women today. It's White Ribbon Day in New Hampshire, and the two dignitaries are urging the state's males take a stand against domestic and sexual violence against women.

In 2007, nearly 10,000 women received help through the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. The Coalition's board chairman, Steve Varnum, says it's up to men to put an end to the violence.

"This is about men standing up and sending a message that domestic violence is not okay, family violence is not okay, violence in our communities is not okay, and as men we have much of the power to stop it. We also have the responsibility to stop it."

Varnum says men are the primary perpetrators of violence against women, so men are the ones who need to speak out and intervene to stop it.

"What we're asking is for guys to be stand-up guys against domestic and sexual violence, and to take a pledge that they will not commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women, sexual assault or domestic violence."

Varnum says law enforcement officers, lawmakers, business leaders and advocates have signed on to become White Ribbon Ambassadors. Some of them will join Lynch and Hodes at noon today for the White Ribbon Day kickoff at the State House.

John Robinson/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NH