Key Events in 2019
- There have been several exciting developments at the Massachusetts state level where Malcolm took part this summer in legislative discussions with several senators and representatives and members of the Attorney General’s staff on possible best next steps in training for youth in healthy relationships and violence prevention. A related outcome was the increase in state spending on such training from roughly $150,000 for the past several years to $1,000,000 for the coming fiscal year through an initiative led by Senator Rebecca Rausch and colleagues, Senators Jamie Eldridge and Michael Barrett, and Representative Alice Peisch; and the Governor’s Office through the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Polito and Executive Officer Kelly Dwyer who head up the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Planning is underway for the best expenditure of that funding this year.
- Malcolm had spent the year also in monthly meetings associated with the Governor’s Council. A number of working groups analyzed specific challenge areas and developed recommendations for solutions. Working group foci included matters such as housing, opioid use, the military, and police practices and training. Malcolm also took part in the meetings of the Working Group on Education and Prevention, helping to design a skills outline for age groups pre-school through graduate school, the outline to serve as a template for design and coordination of educational programs in healthy relationships and violence prevention.
- He was also asked to take part in the task force to design a state awareness campaign on matters related to healthy relationships and violence prevention, eventually entitled RESPECTfully, It starts with us. It was funded for $500,000 to hold youth and adult focus groups on development of campaign ideas and materials. These were launched in May on a variety of social media platforms including Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, in Bank of America kiosks, on electronic bulletin boards across the state and in other public sites such as Logan Airport and commuter train stations. Printed materials were made available to school systems as well. This was the first time in twenty years that such a campaign has been developed and launched. Individual interactions with the electronic social media materials were significant in number. Launching efforts for the campaign will continue well into the school year. For more information visit Mass.gov/respectfully.
- On March 7, the foundation was pleased to sponsor a “soft” launch to some 40 school staff members representing about 20 institutions of a new program tool to promote healthy relationships and violence prevention, the Loved to Death Workshop. Modeled on One Love’s Escalation Workshop, it was collaboratively developed with the leadership of Lori Hodin of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, and Jessica Teperow and Molly Pistrang of REACH, a domestic violence agency in Waltham. Combined with the Escalation Workshop, collaboratively promoted with the One Love Foundation and the classic comic, Neela and Chris, Broken Love, the Lauren Dunne Astley Foundation is now pleased to make available three tools for the promotion of healthy relationships and violence prevention. More information about these tools for colleges and schools is available under the Resources Tab on the foundation website home page www.LaurenDunneAstleyMemorialFund.org.
- In April, Lauren’s parents, Mary Dunne and Malcolm Astley, were pleased to be part of the audience at the opening of Danielle Barrett’s play in New York City The Five Stages. Danielle, a 2010 graduate of Wayland High School, wrote and produced the play, inspired by Lauren’s story, which depicts a friend of a victim killed in an intimate relationship and her successes in overcoming the challenges in moving through the stages of grief. She arrives finally at needed effective acceptance of loss and attains the drive to continue her on life, even while continuing mourning and considering justice for her friend. The play was recorded, and it is hoped will become part of another teaching unit relating to healthy relationships focused on breakups and the needed skills for coping with them and helping others involved in breakups so as to face pain and confusion effectively and avoid moving toward anger and violence.
This year’s speaking engagements at area schools, colleges and other organizations included:
- The University of Connecticut through an event organized by sorority Alpha Chi Omega.
- Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School to students being trained as Mentors in Violence Prevention on the importance of being an upstander, and challenging toxic and constraining cultural traps and gender norms that can lead to unhealthy relationships.
- For 10th graders at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, a talk introducing their program with the Mentors in Violence Prevention Club which focused on healthy relationships and violence prevention and learning from the CBS video from 48 Hours, Loved to Death, about Lauren Dunne Astley and break up violence and its prevention.
- With Claire Giampetroni from the One Love Foundation Malcolm repeated their yearly collaborative presentation to seniors at Newton Country Day and Belmont Hill schools.
- Participated in a panel in Melrose with Rebecca Mooney, organized by Senator Jason Lewis and including Mark Bergeron-Naper of the Department of Public Health and Kelly Dwyer of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
- A talk at Wakefield Memorial High School to the seniors there on the topic of healthy relationships and violence prevention. Members of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Club there helped sponsor the event.
- Participated in Gloucester High School’s mentors in violence prevention program on healthy relationships and dating and breakup violence prevention, joining in the program with survivor Ashley Bendiksen.
- A talk at Lexington High School sponsored by Students Against Destructive Decisions and a few days later to an audience of mainly parents attending the town of Lexington’s Parent Academy.
- Malcolm spoke at Boston University at Max Weinreb’s course on families and violence. In addition to his talk, he introduced the Loved to Death Workshop to the class members.
- A return appearance at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional high School to introduce seniors to their Mentors in Violence Prevention led Escalation Workshop.
- Joining with co-board member Cathy Milton at the Human Relations Service board meeting, Malcolm and she spoke on the topic of mental health and violence prevention work and discussed their perspective in brief on the positive work done by Tony Porter through the A Call to Men Conference in which they had participated.
- Malcolm was asked to speak to the pro bono meeting at law firm Mintz Levin along with other clients the firm supports. He spoke about the foundation’s activities, the underlying problems contributing to relationship violence, and some of the means to address them.
- In September, Malcolm took part for the second time in the Harvard Graduate School of Education symposium “Educating to End Sexual Violence: Name It, Face It, End It,” and presented concepts and resources potentially useful in the important enterprise.
- In October, Malcolm Astley attended the Lauren Dunne Astley lecture at Elon University, the lecture established to focus on understanding and preventing violence. Elon continues to build collaborative efforts to explore vital issues in gender identity and human collaboration and well-being. It was inspiring to hear of the journey of transgender Tiq Milan and wife Kim talking of their journey, the history of transgenders in human culture, and the possibilities of all genders in breaking down hatred and exclusion, and supporting caring and increased freedom within human development.
- Malcolm continues to work as part of the Working Group on Education and Prevention of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, and he was appointed to the Steering Committee of the Council.
- In March, Malcolm spoke with youth and parents at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland in collaboration with specialists from the One Love Foundation. Earlier in the month he talked with Juniors and Seniors at Middletown High School in Rhode Island about healthy relationships and violence prevention and also attended the introduction of the Escalation Workshop at Wayland High School to Seniors and some Juniors there, now an annual program in Wayland.
- In April, Malcolm spoke with Max Weinreb’s class at Boston University on family violence, again reviewing issues and concepts in effective relationships and factors related to violence within relationships and paths toward effective relationships.
- In May, Malcolm spoke at a new venture at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School entitled “Youth Advancing Youth, You Are Here” exploring a variety of inspiring routes youth have taken in their own development. He spoke about means of being involved in community to prevent relationship violence and to engage with the world to make it better. He also spoke at Lincoln-Sudbury introducing their Escalation Workshop program and talked with Juniors and Seniors at Narragansett Regional High School in Massachusetts about healthy relationships and violence prevention.
- The board invited applications for its annual mini-grant program and 11 project proposals were funded.
- In February, Malcolm spoke to students and parents at Walpole High School at a program on violence prevention organized by a collaborative committee involving multiple community roles, including school committee members, administrators, police, educators, counselors, substance use and mental health specialists. Earlier in the month, he spoke at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island on healthy relationships and violence prevention.
- In October, Malcolm spoke in Arlington to parents and other community members regarding issues in violence prevention. Earlier in the month he spoke with students entering Mentors in Violence Prevention Training at Lincoln-Sudbury High School. He spoke to and received an award in recognition of the work on violence prevention from the Melrose Alliance Against Violence.
- In November, Malcolm spoke at the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth Conference, talking with youth one day and with adults the next. Earlier in the month, he spoke on similar topics to students at Newton Country Day before the use of the Escalation Workshop.
- Mary and Malcolm continued their efforts in partnership with One Love Foundation to sponsor in Massachusetts their nationally-recognized Escalation Workshop targeting high school seniors and juniors. The workshop consists of a 40-minute film following the relationship of a young college couple from the earliest exciting stages as it escalates to a tragic end. The film is followed by a 45-minute peer or adult facilitated discussion focused on helping students to understand the warning signs of abuse, while also gaining clearer understanding of healthy versus unhealthy relationships and skills for safe intervention and referral when necessary.We believe this film-based workshop is among the most powerful tools yet to motivate and educate our high school students about relationship violence, and to empower them to help themselves and their friends.
- Mary presented with REACH and One Love Foundation at Dana Hall school in March. REACH is a nonprofit organization providing safety and support to survivors of abuse while engaging communities to promote healthy relationships and prevent domestic violence.
- Mary presented with One Love Foundation at Brookline High School in April.
- In May, Malcolm coordinated with Krista Giuntoli of One Love Foundation and Lori Hodin of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School to introduce to parents the Escalation Workshop. He then introduced the workshop with Ms. Giuntoli to the seniors and valued hearing Mentors in Violence Prevention alumni who returned from colleges to speak on a panel to the seniors about their perspectives on dating violence and its prevention at their college settings.
- Mary’s work on teen dating violence prevention was recognized by REACH, and she received the Voice for Justice award. She was honored at REACH’s annual meeting which is an opportunity to bring people together and to acknowledge the roles that we all have in ending domestic and dating violence.
- In monthly meetings Malcolm has continued work at the State House with the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Chaired by Lieutenant Governor Polito and also with the Working Group on Education and Prevention which is due to report later this spring. The Working Group has met across the state, last meeting in May at the UMass Amherst.
- Mary has been working with Project 351 which unites diverse 8th grade service ambassadors from every city and town in Massachusetts for an inspirational year of community service and leadership development. Created as an event of Governor Deval Patrick’s second inaugural, Project 351 is now convened by Governor Charlie Baker.
- Mary participated in a Leadership Reunion with Governor Baker in May at Gillette Stadium and served on a panel with other extraordinary mothers who work to honor their beloved child’s memory and she addressed such topics as the transformative impact of the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund, lessons from Lauren, and advice to young leaders on the importance of service, kindness, inclusion, and compassion.
- Malcolm has continued as a board member on the Wayland Youth Advisory Committee working on issues related to youth and family well-being and violence prevention. The committee wrote and circulated a letter regarding the understanding and prevention of suicide which many town leaders signed. The Youth Advisory Committee has continued to help develop a sound preventive stance in coordination with Wayland Cares, as well as traditional clinical interventions for youth and families at risk.
- Malcolm has also been asked to join the board of the Human Relations Service in Wellesley which organization provides needed mental health and consultative services in Wellesley, Weston and Wayland.
- Malcolm teamed up with Krista Giuntoli of One Love Foundation to introduce the Escalation Workshop with students of Belmont Hill School and Newton Country Day who then watched Escalation and held small group discussions led by student peers trained by One Love.
- In April, Malcolm spoke to students at Winthrop High School on understanding and preventing relationship violence and did the same at Max Weinreb’s course on families and violence at Boston University.
- For White Ribbon Day on March 1:
- Malcolm joined with Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Round Table President Sue Rushfirth and 700 other participants to witness White Ribbon Day at Faneuil Hall in Boston.
- Sudbury, Wayland and Lincoln citizens and officials held a public ceremony raising a flag for gender violence prevention at the Wayland Public Safety Building. Flags were raised similarly in about 100 towns across the state in witness of White Ribbon Day, established through a Canadian initiative in witness and protest of the slaughter of numbers of women by a man in 1989 at a graduate institution there. The ceremony was followed by a workshop with Craig Norberg-Bohm on reimagining manhood.
- In February, Malcolm spoke about break up violence, warning signs and violence prevention along with Dove personnel to students and staff at Fontbonne Academy in Milton.
- In March, at Lesley University, Malcolm took part in a panel through Nancy Beardall on relationship violence and its prevention.
- Later in March, he spoke to health classes at Braintree High School on healthy relationships, break up and dating violence and their prevention.
- In monthly meetings Malcolm continued work on the board of the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable (DVR) bringing programs on understanding violence, its warning signs and prevention to the towns involved. LIPSTICK held a meeting under DVR auspices to focus on helping women to understand and safely end their roles in making guns available and accessible to male partners. The Roundtable sponsored a public screening of Escalation for all three communities and other neighboring ones at Lincoln-Sudbury High School in May.
- In September, Malcolm worked on violence prevention planning at Tahanto High School in Boylston with a staff team and then spoke to all students and staff in October in a morning program and to parents later in an evening gathering.
- Malcolm took part in a Harvard School of Education Symposium on Sexual Violence in collaboration on a panel with Rick Weissbourd and Meera Seshdari and Weissbourd’s former students and conference organizers, Justine Arielle Finn (founder of Relation-Shift) and Rachel Hanebutt (founder of Confi). Malcolm held a break-out session on effective relationships and violence prevention as well.
- In October, through Dawn Couture at Mt. Ida College, Malcolm spoke about healthy relationships and violence prevention to students and staff in the Criminal Justice Program.
- In November, he spoke to graduate students in mental health through Max Weinreb’s course at Suffolk University.
- In June, Malcolm met with the staff of Lauren’s beloved Camp Huckins in Freedom, New Hampshire, to discuss approaches to understanding and promoting effective relationships and violence prevention. Director Jodie Skelton plans to take such discussions to local school systems as well, perhaps through use of the Escalation Workshop which the foundation is promoting in collaboration with the One Love Foundation.
- In May, Malcolm spoke on the topic of effective relationships and violence prevention at Boston College High School to Juniors and 8 He spoke earlier in the month to Holbrook High School Seniors and Juniors with the support of Jennifer Bolton of Dove. Still earlier he spoke with Seniors about the same topics at Gann Academy in Waltham. In early May, Malcolm was glad to take part in the Casa Myrna breakfast and fundraiser.
- In May, Malcolm spoke on the topic of effective relationships and violence prevention at Boston College High School to Juniors and 8th He spoke earlier in the month to Holbrook High School Seniors and Juniors with the support of Jennifer Bolton of Dove. Still earlier he spoke with Seniors about the same topics at Gann Academy in Waltham. In early May, Malcolm was glad to take part in the Casa Myrna breakfast and fundraiser.
- Malcolm and Mary Dunne were most pleased to be honored for their on-going work earlier in April at the Second Step Gala and Fundraiser at the Westin Hotel in Waltham.
- At Lasell College, Mary and Malcolm took part with Attorney General Maura Healey in a gathering focused on effective relationships and violence prevention and the launch of a classic comic book designed as a curriculum piece for middle and high school students, under the leadership of Sarah Mausner.
- In April Malcolm traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to speak with 700 members of the Junior League on the same topics. The members make social action plans after the conference to take back to their communities.
- He also spoke with the Deputies of Prisons at the Department of Victim Services in Milford, Massachusetts.
- In April he also spoke at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst at the invitation of the social action group, Sisters on the Runway, for a fundraiser for Safe Passage Women’s Shelter.
- Addressing a class at Boston University taught by Max Weinreb, Malcolm was a guest speaker on domestic violence and its prevention.
- At the beginning of April Malcolm spoke to 180 8th graders organized through the work of 28 high school advisory board students focused on considering the matters of effective relationships and violence prevention. The program was developed by the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office under David Capeless with the help of Carol Mulcahy, Director of Community Outreach and Elizabeth Como, Administrative Assistant.
- Malcolm visited Woodsville High School in New Hampshire to speak with students and staff there. A number of participants were moved to personal action through the posters on display and available through the website for the cost of shipping.
- In March Malcolm spoke at two events in Rockford, Illinois, one for students, faculty and community members at Rock Valley College and the second for youth and guiding adults at a Unitarian Church conference in Rockford.
- Earlier Malcolm spoke at a gathering at the Worcester YWCA through the coordination of Craig Norberg-Bohm and Jane Doe, Inc., focused on effective ways of connecting with schools.
- At the end of February Malcolm spoke with 50 Seniors at Andover High School. Earlier in the month the foundation invited 17 Massachusetts high schools to take part in a preview of the Escalation Workshop for consideration for use in their own health and wellness programs. Eventually nearly all 17 high schools signed up for training in the use of the program in their schools for the 16-17 academic year, financed by the foundation.
- Earlier Malcolm spoke to 600 students at the Southbridge Middle and High Schools and to local police, prosecutors, medical professionals and sheriff’s department personnel at the Hampden DA’s Office of Victim Witness Assistance, under DA Anthony Gullini.
- Malcolm began taking part in the open meetings of the Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence at the State House and was asked to take part in the “Working Group on Prevention Education.”Much of our work now is focused on the formation of an exciting partnership with the One Love Foundation to launch The Escalation Workshop, a 1.5 hour facilitated workshop for high school and college students:
- The centerpiece is an engaging 40-minute film depicting a young college couple from the earliest exciting stages of their relationship escalating to a tragic end
- The film is followed by a 45-minute, peer or adult facilitated discussion focused on helping students understand the warning signs of abuse while also gaining clearer understanding of healthy versus unhealthy relationships and learning skills for safe intervention and referral when necessary.
After raising funds last fall to bring this program to 17 Massachusetts high schools, the selection process is now underway.
- The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is proud to be linked on an on-going basis with Attorney General Maura Healey’s Game Changer Initiative, carried out in tandem with Bob Kraft and the New England Patriots; Jane Doe, Inc.; and the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP) developed through the leadership of Dan Lebowitz and Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. Staffs at 100 of the 350 public high schools in Massachusetts will receive training in MVP so as to provide on-going training to students in dismantling cultural messages that promote dating violence, in recognizing the signs of at risk relationships and break ups, and in learning to take safe steps to intervene and prevent violence. 30 high schools will also receive additional in-depth leadership training the better to address these matters in model programs.
- Malcolm also participated in talks at Wellesley High School initiated and organized by a student-staff team to include brainstorming with counseling and support staff, and then talks to parents, school staff and finally students on the challenges of dating and break up violence and their prevention.
- In November, Malcolm spoke to parents, staff and students at Maynard High School on dating and break up violence, effective relationships and violence prevention and talked about the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable at the Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Wayland.
- In December, Malcolm took part in a State House launching of a display commissioned by Jane Doe, Inc. The display’s theme is Reimagining Manhood and highlights the work in this area of 13 White Ribbon Ambassadors, Malcolm having been included as one.
- He attended two open meetings of the Governor’s Council on Sexual Assault on Domestic Violence, joining their year-long conversation and planning of the creation of comprehensive efforts to address the related matters, provide support and intervention to victims and perpetrators and to build effective preventive practices.
- Later in December he took part in the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School In-House Summit on effective relationships and violence prevention.
- Malcolm spoke to about 70 associates of the Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni’s office including corrections officers, sheriff’s personnel, victim witness advocates and other service providers on the topic of dating and break up violence, its indicators, causes and prevention. The talk was filmed for cable TV use.
- Malcolm is also scheduled in late February to speak to students at Southbridge High School and to seniors in health classes at Andover High School.
- In October, Lauren’s father, Malcolm, through the coordination of Leonard DeBenedictis, organizer of Massachusetts General Hospital Men Against Abuse, spoke with physicians and other Hospital personnel about the prevention of boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and against other boys and men.
- Malcolm spoke in October to the students and staff at Xaverian High School which has been working with a student peer group, Young Men For Change, to understand and work on the prevention of boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and against each other.
- At Bates College, he spoke on the same topic with student activists, and at the end of the month Malcolm was the keynote speaker at the Dove Gala and fundraiser.
- On September 15, Mary and Malcolm joined state attorney general Maura Healey and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to announce a major new initiative to educate high school students about dating violence prevention. “Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership” aims to stop domestic violence and sexual assault by helping young people spot warning signs of unhealthy relationships.
- Mary spoke at the Garden of Peace Memorial Walkway in Boston during their annual dedication of new names.
Mary has organized two teams of volunteers to work at Wayland’s
- Habitat for Humanity project on Sept 26, in Lauren’s honor and in the spirit of her volunteer work after Hurricane Katrina.
- Malcolm worked for several days in August at Xaverian High School in Westwood with Chris Vasta, Assistant Principal, and Jennifer Bolton of Dove as they reflected with student leaders in an organizing group, Young Men 4 Change, on the causes of boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and how they might work on prevention in their school community as well as the rest of our society. They are planning a comprehensive effort over the year involving student peer leaders in guiding community planning. Malcolm will speak in October as part of the campaign involving a wide variety of activities including tapping regular theology classes so that all students can reflect on the issues and develop effective action steps aimed at prevention.
- Malcolm also began planning work on a campaign with Assistant Principal Andrew O’Brien of Central Catholic High School. Plans include Malcolm’s speaking there in the fall where they are also working on a comprehensive effort at coping with the challenges involved in understanding preventing boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and against each other.
- Early in August, Malcolm received training as a facilitator for the viewing of and reflection on the movie, Escalation, depicting a powerful and realistic picture of a fictitious college abusive relationship. The film was developed through the One Love Foundation, and has had highly positive impact at over 300 colleges and 100 high schools across the country. Malcolm will be involved with others first locally in helping the film be used well in high school education campaigns on the understanding and prevention of boys and men’s violence against girls and women and against each other.
- In June, Malcolm joined forces with Think Peace, an organization and movement created by Denise Tavares, the mother of Andrew Tavares, killed in neighborhood violence. The evening event focused on steps toward peace was organized with the help of Sarah Mausner. Malcolm spoke about some of the core issues leading to violence, and remarks were also made by Bill Richard, father of Martin Richard who was killed at the Marathon bombing and father of Jane Richard who was injured, yet still did cartwheels that night to the delight of many.
- Through much of the summer we worked with Associate Professor of Design Karen Roehr of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The result of a mini-grant funding her students’ design and publication of visual materials to support campaigns in middle schools, high school, colleges and other organizations across the United States. To support campaigns they will soon be on sale for the cost of shipping through the website.
- Malcolm worked with the Program Committee of the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Round Table this summer to follow up last December’s forum focused on the question of how communities can take better steps to prevent violence. The program for the year will involve three special community presentations focused on priority steps that came out of the forum. The first presentation will involve a panel of experts discussing how to help youth cope with the “normal” challenging trauma of life, the better to develop resilience in the face of normal experiences with shame, loss, failure and rejection that we all need to support each other in learning to face. The following two programs will focus on engaging boys and men in prevention and helping students going to college to be prepared for the social challenges there.
- In May, Malcolm spoke at a conference at Curry College on New Directions in Violence Prevention and took part in a panel there, all launched through Dr. Jennifer Balboni.
- On May 27th, Malcolm was teamed with Scarlett Lewis, mother of a first grade victim at the Newtown shootings, and they spoke as part of the Opening Ceremony of the conference at the State House hosted by the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts. Educators, clinicians, legislators, service providers and other governmental officials joined in a day of education regarding best practices to promote the development of the social emotional thinking and skills of young people in the interest of their proficiency in relationships, career and engaging and safe communities. Keynote speaker Tim Ryan, Representative from Ohio (D) noted: “But if you don’t have the social-emotional skills to function in the world – self-control, resiliency, focus – you’re not entirely free. We have an obligation to help our young kids be as free as possible in this world by teaching them SEL skills.”
- Malcolm spoke to a wide variety of corrections educators and practitioners and other educators and clinicians at their conference on New Directions in Violence Prevention. He also took part in a first of its kind efforts in meeting in a Newton home through Second Step with a group of seniors and their parents from Gann Academy in Waltham. Discussion was engaging and lively in the small group informal setting.
- Also in May, Malcolm spoke to several hundred students at Swampscott High School where again peer leaders assisted with the program and planned follow up.
- Mary Dunne and Malcolm Astley visited Elon University in late May where Lauren was remembered as part of the baccalaureate ceremony by Chaplain Fuller. She went on to inspire graduates to take on the challenging matter of boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and to take action to reform our society in every way possible to prevent such violence and get at its roots.The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund board voted enthusiastically to support in Lauren’s memory the establishment of an annual lecture or workshop at Elon to focus with students or faculty dynamically on current issues, research or practices related to gender issues and the matter of violence prevention, especially violence by boys’ and men against girls and women and the related challenge of boys’ and men’s violence against each other. Final details for the initiative are being worked out between Elon University and the board.
- In April, Malcolm spoke to nearly 1,000 students and staff members at high schools in Medfield and Gloucester with the help of guidance counselors, English teachers, peer student leaders and with the involvement of school and central office administrators, a police chief and mayor. The impact stands to be strong with such coordinated efforts and messages.
- In late March, Malcolm had the honor of introducing the Geiger Crisis Center White Ribbon Breakfast keynote speaker Dan Lebowitz, Northeastern’s head of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society and home of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program. Lauren’s memorial fund has sponsored training for a number of school teams in that program, and the program has been well received at Wayland High School and Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.
- Mary Dunne spoke to the board of directors of the Second Step which partners with adult and child survivors of domestic violence to enhance supportive community and identify pathways to physical and emotional healing, housing, and financial security.
- Mary also spoke to two large assemblies at Newton North High School and will speak at Dana Hall in March.
- In March Malcolm spoke in Dr. Emily Rothman’s class at the BU School of Public Health. He also was one of the speakers at the annual White Ribbon Ceremony organized by Jane Doe, Inc. at the State House. He will also help open the second Courage to Care Conference involving about 250 students from 15 area high schools gathering at Lincoln-Sudbury High School on March 13.
- In February, Malcolm spoke to several hundred students, educators and other professionals associated with schools and support agencies affiliated with the Jersey Battered Women’s Service in Rockaway, New Jersey. Students went on to begin to design campaigns to prevent violence in their own schools.
- Later in the month Malcolm spoke to students, parents and staff connected with student Mentors in Violence Prevention initiatives at three Cape Cod high schools in Barnstable, Falmouth and Dennis-Yarmouth and associated with Independence House’s work on dating, break up and domestic violence prevention. The evening involved an art contest focused on violence prevention and also dance performed by students from A Lovely Studio.
- In January, Malcolm spoke to about 600 students and staff at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts and met with students selected and trained to serve in an innovative peer counseling program which can serve as a model for other schools interested in improving access to support for all students and particularly around issues related to pain, confusion and risks arising around break-ups.
- In October, Malcolm spoke at the Re-Entry Conference sponsored by the Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti and his staff.
- The LDAMF board was involved in judging dating and break up violence prevention campaign materials creatively designed by students at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, in Associate Professor Karen Roehr classes. Three sets of campaign materials were selected for publication.
- Malcolm spoke to several hundred Melrose High School freshmen and seniors about the challenges of dating and breakup violence and approaches and skills for preventing them. He took part in the walk organized by the Melrose Alliance Against Violence. The community of Melrose has been in the forefront of efforts to build openness and awareness about these matters and preventive practices.Malcolm also spoke to students, parents and staff at Sharon High School under the auspices of HUGS, Help Us Get Safe, a community organization there focused on violence prevention.
- Malcolm continued brainstorming and planning work with the Lincoln-Sudbury Mentors in Violence Prevention Program coordinated by Lori Hodin as they planned their second annual Courage to Care conference on March 13 for interested high school student and staff teams from Massachusetts.
- Joining in September with authors Randy Susan Myers and Marianne Leone when they launched their books respectively, Accidents of Marriage and Jessie: A Mother’s Story, with themes of significant challenges within relationships at Newtonville Book Store. Malcolm spoke about the challenges of dating and breakup violence. The bookstore owners and authors kindly donated a portion of their book sales to the memorial fund in Lauren’s memory.
- Mary Dunne was the keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Teen Symposium by Hope’s Door, held at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. More than 300 Westchester County teens participated in a diverse, educational day with various speakers and performances. The organization itself provides a vast array of services including a hotline, shelter, safety planning, counseling, support groups, legal referrals, teen dating abuse prevention and community education.
- As part of a mini-grant funded by the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund, Malcolm Astley spoke at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, to a graphic design class preparing to create a variety of public campaigns to raise awareness of and prevent dating and break up violence. Foundation board members will form a jury to review the proposed campaigns and choose one for implementation, thanks to the work of Associate Professor Karen Roehr.
- After a year of planning, on September 27, Lexington’s Munroe Center for the Arts presented its program of mixed media of artistic presentations to a filled auditorium of over 340 interested and concerned citizens. The program was underwritten by the foundation and supported by several other organizations including Emerge and REACH. Break the Silence, was an Evening of Drama, Poetry, Dance and Music aimed at airing, addressing and preventing boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women. The program was featured beforehand in a Globe West article and was featured on WBZ TV news that night. Several towns inquired afterwards about the possibility of the show being reproduced in their locations. Lex Media is producing a DVD of the event as a possible educational tool and the program was recorded also through foundation funding for the possible creation of a useful documentary.
- On September 13, CBS 48 Hours rebroadcast Lauren’s story through the documentary on dating and break-up violence entitled Love to Death. The program was also aired on the Discovery Channel. The program may be viewed through the 48 Hours website.
- Malcolm spoke at Casa Myrna’s fundraiser at Sandy Burr Country Club along with Casa Myrna Director Stephanie Brown. Casa Myrna provides shelter and services to abuse victims in the Boston area.
- We have taken initial steps to consult with a film production agency around the possibility of the development of a dynamic video portrayal of an inspiring explanation of just what factors contribute to create boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and what we might do as a culture the better to address and prevent it. An advisory committee composed of noted scholars and practitioners is in formation, and funding sources are being pursued.
- In July and August, Malcolm took part in planning meetings with the Program Committee of the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Round Table focused on developing community gatherings for 2014-15 on domestic violence and the comprehensive new law, the landscape of services available to address domestic and dating violence, brainstorming the ideal components of community response and prevention, and engaging boys and men in the prevention of boys’ and men’s violence against women. The first panel discussion, “Understanding the Landscape for Preventing and Addressing Domestic Violence” took place on October 14 with five panelists. (see domesticviolenceroundtable.org)
- Malcolm took part in three different week-long workshops at Boston University for high school students from around the world on Investigative Journalism on the topic of Teen Dating Violence. Students interviewed him after he gave a talk and used the material as part of their research leading to articles on the issues involved.
- Malcolm worked with Wayland Youth and Family Services staff member Dossie Kahn to review what is in place to support students during the summer, especially seniors who are likely to be experiencing break-ups and are facing the challenges of transition from home. Announcements and flyers sent out to students informed them of available services and phone numbers. These matters will continue to be reviewed in coming months for next year.
- Mary Dunne has joined the advisory board of REACH, a non-profit organization based in Waltham providing safety and support to survivors of abuse while engaging communities to promote healthy relationships and prevent domestic violence.
- Malcolm’s recent speaking engagements include addressing hundreds of students on Liberating Boys and Men from Violence: Looking Under the Anger. Appearances at the Rivers School in Weston, Andover High School, and Millbury High School. He also spoke at First Parish Unitarian Universalist church in Sherborn.
- Malcolm participated in the Casa Myrna Breakfast at the Omni Parker House. Casa Myrna is a Boston-based nonprofit delivering solutions to end domestic and dating violence. He also participated in Jane Doe Inc. Men’s Leadership lunch meeting.
- Involved in collaborative meetings with The Munroe Center for the Arts, Lexington, MA, in planning for their evening arts presentation through drama, poetry, and dance at 7:30 on Saturday, September 27, Break the Silence for middle, high school, college, young adults, and their parents, teachers, and counselors. The performance will be on Saturday, September 27, at 7:30 pm, at the Clarke Middle School Auditorium in Lexington. Visit http://www.
munroecenter.org/next-msn- performance.html for information on ticket reservations (which are strongly encouraged).
- Collaborative work with town agencies, Wayland Youth and Family Services and Wayland Cares on outreach for young people under stress during the summer and particularly high school seniors.
- Mary and Malcolm were interviewed by Bella English of the Boston Globe for June 5 article.
- Participated in television and radio interview programs with Jim Braude, Margery Eagen and Emily Rooney focused on dating and break up violence and education for prevention
- Malcolm was interviewed by students in BU course on investigative journalism with a focus on teen dating violence.
- With the support of Mintz Law Firm and its ML Strategies, we formed a collaborative alliance with legislators in both the Massachusetts House and Senate to write, support and advance legislation aimed at supporting victims of relationship violence, in intervening with batterers, and in providing education to students in healthy relationships and violence prevention. We are hopeful that practical results will emerge in the near future.
- Brookline’s Commission for Women named Mary Dunne as the Woman of the Year for her work teaching teens about dating violence. Dunne, a preschool teacher in Brookline for 35 years, was honored at the commission’s 22nd annual Women Who Inspire Us awards ceremony.
- Mary spoke after performances of The Yellow Dress, funded by the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund, two times at Brookline High School and at Newton Country Day School.
- Mary addressed the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association from the perspective of the families of victims involved in murder prosecutions.
- Mary spoke at UMASS Boston to graduate students in a gender studies class on violence against women.
- Co-sponsored The Courage to Care Healthy Relationship Summit. Held at Lincoln-Sudbury High School on March 14 under the direction of Safe Schools coordinator Lori Hodin, some 200 student leaders from 15 Massachusetts high schools participated, as well as teaching staff and college volunteers from Northeastern University’s Mentors in Violence Prevention program. Welcome addresses were given by Massachusetts’ First Lady Diane Patrick and Malcolm Astley.
- Ongoing work with Wayland Cares, a newly-formed town service agency within Wayland Youth and Family Services, to consider collaborative steps to provide services addressing substance abuse and its underlying causes, providing support during especially challenging years of school transition (5th to 6th grades, 8th to 9th and 12th to college), and, preventing harm and violence.
- Continuing work with the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable to consider collaborative steps to provide information and services addressing boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and its underlying causes, and to prevent the related harm and loss.
- Malcolm gave several talks, on liberating boys and men from violence, to students and staff at Merrimack College, Woburn High School and Newton South High School.
- Malcolm spoke at the White Ribbon Breakfast of the Geiger Crisis Center in Newburyport. Video link: https://vimeo.com/graindigital/review/92157865/dbad359d9e
- The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund launched its mini-grants program, inviting grant proposals up to $2,000 in support of projects aligned with the memorial fund’s mission.
- Malcolm provided the keynote speech at the Amanda Forum in Valparaiso, Indiana, in memory of Amanda Bach, a young woman whose life and murder had many parallels to Lauren’s and many others that are part of these horrific patterns. This three-day conference organized by the Caring Place focused on community leaders, community members, professionals in related fields, and youth in the area communities.
- Sponsored and participated in presentation of “The Yellow Dress,” a play depicting the tragic course of an actual case of intimate partner violence, and follow-up discussion for students and parents at a local synagogue where Lauren’s mother, Mary Dunne, addressed the audience after the play.
- Participated at the State House testimony in support of batterer intervention and other programs funded by the MA Dept. of Public Health. Besides Batterer Intervention, the other programs include Rape Crisis Centers, Prevention Programs, Refugee and Immigrant Assistance and GLBT services, all related to domestic violence and sexual assault assistance and prevention.
- Spoke at Cambridge Family and Children’s Services on Liberation from Violence: Looking Under the Anger.
- Joined with John LeCapitaine retired Professor, the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, to speak with a working committee on compassion at Central Connecticut State University on teen dating and break up violence and Dr. LeCapitaine’s developmental model of compassion. The committee’s goals involve supporting connectedness and well-being for all children.
- Malcolm spoke at Bridgewater State University with the encouragement of Elizabeth Englander of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center.
- Participated in the Anna Grace Conference, Love Wins, at the University of Hartford, in memory of Anna Grace who was one of the students murdered in Newtown, Connecticut. The conference focused on self-regulation and supporting teachers to be self-regulated in support of themselves and their students.
- Malcolm spoke at City of Cambridge Community Solutions on addressing and preventing men’s violence against women.
- Malcolm was the keynote speaker at Governor’s Second Annual Conference on Bullying Prevention in Des Moines, Iowa.
- Took part in Mentors in Violence Prevention training at the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University.
- Participated in Think Peace dinner and fundraiser for youth jobs in memory of Andrew Tavares.
- CBS’s show “48 Hours” aired “Loved to Death,” an hour-long documentary focused on Lauren’s story as well of that of so many young women, and the matters of teen dating and break up violence. After airing on October 26, 2013, the documentary is available for viewing at: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/loved-to-death/
- Continued meeting with MA legislators, and with the advice of pro bono lawyers at Mintz Levin, developed draft legislation enlarging the focus of mandated anti-bullying legislation to include education in healthy relationships and teen dating violence prevention
- Malcolm spoke in Westford, MA at a forum co-sponsored by the nonprofit group The Live for Liv Foundation and the town’s Coalition for Non-Violence. Video here and article here.
- Walked to Break the Silence with Framingham Voices Against Violence and Melrose Coalition Against Violence
- Talks at:
- Waltham and Norwood High Schools on preventing teen dating violence, using the Center for Disease Control’s campaign theme, Veto Violence, with the addition, It Takes More Courage to Care
- Cambridge Family & Children’s Services on teen dating violence prevention
- Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s Bullying Prevention Summit in DesMoines
- City of Cambridge conference on Creating Community Solutions
- Bridgewater State University’s Aggression Reduction Center
Talked with MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding the status of education in healthy relationships and violence prevention and potential ways to strengthen instruction and program
Spoke at Boston Public Health Commission’s Summit on Healthy Break Ups
Met with Sheriff Bellotti and staff to brainstorm program ideas for education in healthy relationships and prevention of teen dating violence
Met with Tom Scott, Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents to seek their perspective on strengthening education in healthy relationships and violence prevention
Interviewed re teen dating violence by three magazines: Scholastic Choices Magazine, Unitarian Universalist World Magazine, and Boston University alumni magazine
Took part in Jewish Family and Children’s Service creation of a video montage to be circulated to media and designed to raise awareness of intimate partner violence
Continued work and meetings to develop our legislative approach
2nd annual Keep On Sparkling event celebrating the life of Lauren Dunne Astley. We are grateful to the planning committee and all who supported this wonderful event to benefit the Lauren Dunne Astley Foundation.
Testified at State House hearings in support of bills to mandate education in healthy relationships and violence prevention
Malcolm Astley appointed to board of Wayland/Sudbury/Lincoln Round Table on Domestic Violence
At Wheelock School of Social Work, attended presentation by a group of graduate students named BRAVE whose work honors Lauren Dunne Astley. They developed a website and clearinghouse of information and resources related to intimate partner violence prevention. Malcolm provided interview now featured on their website, our website and available on YouTube.
Media appearances included:
“Katie,” Katie Couric’s show on Redemption featuring people who have turned something tragic into something teachable
Interview with WGBH-TV’s “Greater Boston” hosted by Emily Rooney
Interview with Fox News Anchor Sorbani Banerjee
Attended all-day training workshop with David Adams, Director of Emerge, training center for at-risk batterers, on myths and realities regarding batterers
Curricular and Preventive Intervention Planning meeting with university scholars, legal advisors, legislative advisors, legislators, youth educators, school administrators, and others from Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund at Mintz law firm
Took part in presentation for students and parents on understanding and preventing intimate partner violence at Reading Memorial High School
Met with Wayland Wellness Committee to finalize wellness survey to be used to identify priorities for future action
Met with Wayland Schools administrators to discuss health and wellness review and consider ways the schools may become a model system in relation to healthy relationship education and prevention of intimate partner violence
Working with CBS regarding inclusion of Lauren’s story within a one hour documentary on teen dating violence and intimate partner violence
Presented Lauren’s case as a means of understanding factors involved in break-up violence and men’s violence against women to one of Associate Professor Emily Rothman’s graduate school classes, Boston University School of Public Health
Collaborative meeting at Our Bodies, Our Selves with Jane Doe representatives including Craig Norberg-Bohm involved with engaging men in prevention of men’s violence against women
Worked with students and staff at Lincoln-Sudbury High School in preparation for student-led educational activities in connection with presentation of The Yellow Dress
Planning meetings regarding Wayland Cares and new collaborative of all healthcare related organizations in Wayland
Observed group work with at-risk batterers
Met with Representatives Peisch and Conroy to brainstorm approaches to legislation to prevent intimate partner violence
Presentation of The Yellow Dress at Lincoln-Sudbury High School for Freshman, Seniors, and parents with accompanying student led instruction on understanding and preventing intimate partner violence
Ongoing – Establishing collaborations with leading organizations to identify information on best practices and support for instituting Healthy Selves, Healthy Relationships programs in Massachusetts schools: Futures Without Violence, REACH, Second Step, BU School of Public Health, MA State Department of Public Health, Department of Sexual Assault Prevention, Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence, Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Regular participation in the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable.
Interviewed by WBUR’s Sacha Pfeiffer for “All Things Considered” regarding warning signs in intimate partner relationships
Provided funding for presentation of “The Yellow Dress,” a play depicting the tragic course of an actual case of intimate partner violence, and follow-up discussion for students, staff and parents at Lincoln-Sudbury High School
Participated in workshop in Wayland on social media challenges in relationships
Held series of media interviews to build awareness of intimate partner violence and the need for instruction for young people in healthy relationships. Media outlets include ABC, CBS, NBC, NECN, Boston Channels 4, 5, 7, Fox News, Katie Couric Show, the Boston Globe, and the Christian Science Monitor. Facilitated by new communications team consisting of volunteers and pro bono law services (see “In the News” section).
Sponsored presentation of “You The Man,” a performance (and follow-up panel discussion) emphasizing the male perspective and bystander engagement in appropriate interventions to prevent intimate partner violence. For 9th and 11th graders at Wayland High School as part of the wellness curriculum.
Attended conference “Raising Connected and Competent Boys: New Models of Strength and Resilience” – Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College
Coordinating action with pro bono law services to document, on a state-by-state basis, existing expectations and requirements regarding instruction in healthy relationships, to be used as a basis for designing model legislation for Massachusetts
Initial exploratory and planning meeting with three state legislators regarding potential legislation to institute appropriate instruction in healthy selves, healthy and effective relationships, and violence prevention at all grade levels
Participated in presentation of “The Yellow Dress,” a play depicting the tragic course of an actual case of intimate partner violence, and follow-up discussion for students and parents at a local synagogue
Held planning summit with leading experts in intimate partner violence consulting about priorities for maximum impact in prevention:
Casey Corcoran – Futures Without Violence – Start Strong – Boston Health Commission
Emily Rothman – BU School of Public Health consulting on teen violence
Roberta Rosenberg – Executive Director, The Second Step
Ruth Backman – Wayland Police Detective and Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland Round Table on Domestic Violence
Laura Van Zandt – Executive Director, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, has worked with Wayland High School and in other towns over the past decade
Set priorities with regard to promoting healthy relationships:
Top priority – Work toward development and passage of state legislation that would require 10 to 20 sessions per year on healthy selves and healthy relationships at all grade levels in all public school districts throughout Massachusetts
Focus on training in schools and including students, staff, parents and community members
Making a point of engaging boys and men who are often looking for a positive, practical way to address the problem of intimate partner violence; and involving and training coaches in the effort
Training guidance counselors in every school on how to spot indicators associated with intimate partner violence and providing appropriate interventions
Participated in “Boston Break Up Summit” sponsored by Boston Public Health Commission
Developed, designed and produced a Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund bookmark, for distribution to students, with educational tips on intimate partner violence warning signs and actions to take in response
Awarded a grant to the Brookline Early Education Program enabling children who cannot afford the tuition to participate in programming where much of the focus is on social skills training
Took part in talk on seeking balance in relationships at Natick High School
Participated in presentation of “The Yellow Dress” and follow-up discussion at a Metrowest private school
Provided funding in support of a “Conversation on Compassion” at the Harvard School of Education where a new integrated developmental model was introduced by Dr. John LeCapitaine of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. New model is focused on perspective taking, empathy, compassion and communicative reasoning. Attended by 70 professionals from institutions related to schools, public safety, mental health, social work and intimate partner violence prevention.
Lauren’s parents visited Elon University, where Lauren was to attend college, and joined in activities to remember Lauren and to consider issues related to men’s violence against women
Keep On Sparkling, the 1st annual event celebrating the life of Lauren Dunne Astley was held at Sandy Burr Country Club, Wayland, MA
Participated in “Out of the Shadows: Reporting on Intimate Partner Violence,” a conference sponsored by The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Participated in “Preventing Dating Abuse and Promoting Healthy Relationships,” a Walden Forum event on intimate partner violence at First Parish in Wayland, MA