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End Gender Violence, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Lisa Norwood’s photostream

The statistics are gut-wrenching: On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the U.S. Nearly one in four women in the U.S. reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life. Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

While only a small minority of men are abusive, letting these abusers off the hook, or excusing their behavior, or just looking the other way, is an insult to all the good men in our community. In order to prevent this violence, it’s crucial for all the men in our community to stand up and speak out against violence against women and girls and become part of the solution.

The City of Pittsburgh is committed to addressing the important issues of domestic and sexual violence. As part of that commitment, you’re being asked to join in and sign the Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence. You will be pledging to:

  • Not use violence of any form in my relationships
  • Speak up if another man is abusing his partner or is disrespectful or abusive to women and girls. I will not remain silent.
  • Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence.
  • Mentor and teach boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. I will lead by example.

You can find many resources for both men wanting to help end the violence and women who need help now at the Southwest PA Says No More website.

You can also join Southwest PA Says No More and local leaders on Friday, June 19 at noon for the Father’s Day Public Pledge Signing Ceremony in the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard, 436 Grant Street, Downtown Pittsburgh (RSVP here).

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Please take a moment to join Mayor Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh City Council, and many, many other Pittsburghers and sign the pledge now!