Author Archives: Linda Masters

Date Safe Course

In partnership with the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club, A Safe Place is Proud to announce that this course will be offered at the club starting November 8th!  This is designed for 6th to 8th graders to participate in a 10 session course.

The Date Smart program is intended to increase young people’s understanding and to build the skills they need to achieve healthy relationships free of violence and abuse. Our goals with the Date Smart program are:

·         to provide an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for establishing fun, safe and mutually supportive dating relationships

·         to increase members’ ability to help their friends and family members who may be experiencing dating, sexual, or domestic violence

·         to encourage youth to participate in preventing dating, sexual and domestic violence in their communities by confronting the attitudes and behaviors that contribute to abusive relationships and promoting relationships based on equality and respect

·         to connect members and their families with community-based resources for dating, sexual and domestic violence and its prevention

Please take a moment to read and reflect on the names of those in Massachusetts who were victims of Domestic Violence Homicide since last October.  Honor their memory by moving forward with resolve to help those currently struggling with violence in their homes and to work to prevent violence in the future by modeling healthy relationships.

candle light vigil

  • November 8, 2014: Audilia Daveiga, 33, of Springfield, shot to death in her home by her boyfriend, Paulo Rosa, 30, who subsequently killed himself. Daveiga is survived by two young sons.
  • December 20, 2014: Tanya Nichols, 51, of Marblehead, killed by her boyfriend, John Devine, 28. Nichols died from blunt force trauma to the head from a table Devine threw at her.
  • December 31, 2014: Gloria Resto, 42, of Waltham, was stabbed to death by her husband Julio Resto, 51, in their home. Resto is survived by two sons from a previous relationship.
  • January 5, 2015: Yahaira Hernandez, 30, of Springfield was found fatally shot to death in a running car.  Police identified the incident as an act of domestic violence by Pedro Vasquez, 40.
  • February 5, 2015: Lisa Trubnikova, 31, of Bourne was fatally shot by Adrian Loya, a fellow Coastguard worker who had been obsessed with her for years. A responding officer, Jared MacDonald, and Lisa’s wife, Anna, both suffered serious injuries from the incident.
  • February 11, 2015: Kathryn Mauka, 17, of Springfield was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend. There was no sign of forced entry into the home.
  • February 14, 2015: Anonymous, of Milford
  • February 15, 2015: Omar Mendez, 39, of Lawrence was fatally stabbed at his apartment by his live-in boyfriend, Miguel Rivera, 50.
  • February 17, 2015: Anonymous, of Tewksbury
  • March 11, 2015: Salina Merritt, 29, of Springfield was fatally stabbed, allegedly by Erick Buchanon, 46. Two other people were stabbed in the attack and survived their injuries. Merritt had one daughter and two sons.
  • March 18, 2015: Michelle Batista, 31, of Framingham was fatally shot by her boyfriend, Allen Murphy, 27, who then committed suicide.
  • March 27, 2015: Donna Buonanduci, 45, of Peabody was beaten to death with a hammer and bat by her ex-husband, Joseph Buonanduci. They had been divorced in February and had a 17 year old son.
  • March 27, 2015: Anonymous, of Webster
  • May 5, 2015: Monique Van Zandt, 25, of Springfield was fatally stabbed by her boyfriend Van Dorsey, 27, while he was allegedly under the influence of PCP. He claims to have no memory of the incident.
  • May 17, 2015: Christine Giordano, 45, of Wakefield was stabbed to death by her estranged husband, Daniel Burns, 42, when she sought him out to reconcile.
  • June 11, 2015: Cedric Taylor, 37, of Leominster was stabbed by his girlfriend, Stephanie Cruz, 28, after being released from the Worcester County House of Corrections where he had been awaiting trial on a domestic assault and battery charge against her.
  • June 16, 2015: Cheryl Young, 55, of Peabody was stabbed in the heart by her live-in boyfriend Brandon Hoar, 59 who claimed he had by trying to protect Young’s 5 year old granddaughter from Young, who suffers from bipolar disorder.
  • July 14, 2015: Matilde Gabin, 33, of Lawrence was shot to death in her driveway by her estranged husband, Nelson Delarosa, 65, who then committed suicide. She had filed for divorce in June.
  • September 1, 2015: Kate Church, 31, of Georgetown, died most likely from injuries inflicted by her husband, Matthew Church, 33, earlier in the day. She had refused medical treatment and when the police returned to check on her, she was dead.


A Life Has Ended

A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
the memories of times, have come to an end,
their threads wove the fabric of an earlier day.

A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
sunrises and sunsets, bright days and dark nights
circled again and again, and gave context to this life,
moment after moment, their life was lived each day.

A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
lives have been touched by the dear one’s journey,
laughter, tears, hopes, fears, a life has come to an end 
memories hold their spirit alive, in my own life.

A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
the loss of future moments, that will not be,
grateful for moments shared, that nourished me,
moments lived, in casual belief, they would never end.

A part of me has ended, with the passing of a friend,
be they gone from the earthly plane, their spirit soars,
to renew again, in summerland, heaven or another life,
I know not where, but their love remains with me,
for in this life, we friends, did share.

I miss my friend, but they will always be near, inside
of me, inside you, and all who took time to hear,
the music of this life so dear, a life now silent,
living only in the memory, of those who survive.

Copyright Abby Willowroot 2009


October was Domestic Violence Awareness month

This year all of our Silent Witnesses featured tips on how to prevent and recognize Domestic Violence.

Silent Witness Figures 2010 for flyer

1. If you suspect a friend or family member is in an abusive relationship, encourage her or him to get help.

2. Call the police if you hear or see a couple or family fighting.

3. If someone discloses abuse, listen without judgment and offer help when she or he is ready to seek help.

4. Take claims of abuse seriously. Domestic violence affects women and men who differ by age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, and cultural background.

5. Distribute A Safe Place cards and brochures to help raise awareness about the various forms of domestic abuse.

6. Educate yourself and your loved ones about domestic abuse, and recognize that domestic abuse is characterized by a pattern of power and control.

7. If you suspect that a friend or family member is in an abusive relationship, seek help to learn about how you can best support your friend or family member.

8. Talk to your children about building healthy relationships and how to recognize signs of abuse.

9. If you see a couple getting into an argument, create a simple diversion—such as asking for the time or directions—to help de-escalate the situation.

10. If you witness a friend or family member abusing his or her partner, express your concern and encourage your friend or family member to seek help.

11. If your child witnesses abusive behavior, explain why the behavior is wrong or hurtful and seek help if needed.

12. Familiarize yourself with domestic violence red flags, and seek help if your partner:

  • Is jealous and possessive
  • Humiliates or criticizes you
  • Blames you for his or her behavior
  • Threatens to hurt you, your children, or your pets
  • Prevents you from seeing friends and family
  • Limits your access to money, food, and other resources

13. Speak up if you see an animal being hurt.

14. Be aware and inform others that animal abuse is linked to domestic violence.

Virtual Vigil

Please take a moment to read and reflect on the names of those in Massachusetts who were victims of Domestic Violence Homicide since last October.  Honor their memory by moving forward with resolve to help those currently struggling with violence in their homes and to work to prevent violence in the future by modeling healthy relationships.

vigil candles

  • 11/3/2013            Shirley Ju, age 64, of Natick
  • 11/18/2013          Mei Kum Jones, 43, of Arlington
  • 11/18/2013          Colt Jones, 1, of Arlington
  • 11/18/2013          Cameron Jones, 1, of Arlington
  • 11/30/2013          Colleen Butler, 60, Sutton
  • 1/15/2014            Mabilia Maranhao, 22, of New Bedford
  • 2/17/2014            Anonymous, age unknown, of Springfield
  • 2/20/2014            Solanlly Paulino, 23, of Peabody
  • 4/8/2014              Anonymous, age unknown, of Boston
  • 4/22/2014            Elizabeth Coyne, 81, of Weymouth
  • 5/3/2014              Edward Dill, 36, of Brockton
  • 5/7/2014              Andrew Wagner, 31, of Worcester
  • 5/16/2014            Anonymous, age unknown, of Salisbury
  • 5/16/2014            Florence Beaulieu, 27, of Brockton
  • 6/11/2014            Patricia Langley, 52, of Rockland
  • 7/20/2014            Anonymous, age unknown, of Ludlow
  • 10/5/2014            Ramonita Colon, 58, of Springfield

Passing Beyond Sight

Those we love must someday pass
beyond our present sight…
Must leave us and the world we know
without their radiant light.
But we know that like a candle
their lovely light will surely shine
To brighten up another place
more perfect… more divine.
And in the realm of Heaven
where they shine so warm
and bright.
Our loved ones live forevermore
in God ’s eternal light.

 We hope that you are participating in the Silent Witness prevention and awareness competition this month.  Use this form ASP Silent Witness Project (PREVENTION COMPETITION) – PDF to write all the tips you find on each witness and return to A Safe Place.

What is cyber bullying and what can we do about it?

Bullying is a problem most of us witness in our lifetime.  Whether we are the bullied, the bully or an observer, we know what it is and what it looks like in a classroom, on the playing field, on the bus, or in the work place.

Cyber bullying is the newest way for people to tease, taunt and hurt other people.  It can occur 24 hours a day and can be done anonymously which makes it that much more damaging – there are few limits.

If We Only Knew, If He Only Told Us (a true story of cyber bullying)


According to Ryan’s Story, the website operated by Ryan’s parents, John and Kelly Halligan, early concerns about Ryan’s speech, language and motor skills development led to him receiving special education services from pre-school through the fourth grade. Ryan’s academic and physical struggles made him the regular target of a particular bully at school between the fifth and seventh grade. In February 2003, a fight between Ryan and the bully not only ended the harassment at school, but also led to a supposed friendship.

However, after Ryan shared an embarrassing personal story, the newly found friend returned to being a bully and used the information to start a rumour that Ryan was gay. The taunting continued into the summer of 2003, although Ryan thought that he had struck a friendship with a pretty, popular girl through AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Instead, he later learned that the girl and her friends thought it would be funny to make Ryan think the girl liked him and use it to have him share more personally embarrassing material—which was copied and pasted into AIM exchanges with her friends. On October 7, 2003, Ryan hanged himself in the family bathroom. After his son’s death, John discovered a folder filled with IM exchanges throughout that summer that made him realize “that technology was being utilized as weapons far more effective and reaching [than] the simple ones we had as kids.”

Aftermath: There were no criminal charges filed following Ryan’s death because no criminal law applied to the circumstances. Seven months after Ryan’s death, Vermont’s Bully Prevention Law (ACT 117) was signed into law by Governor Jim Douglas. John Halligan also authored Vermont’s Suicide Prevention Law (ACT 114), which passed unchanged in April 2006.

You can read more case studies here.

So what is cyber bullying?

rumors, testing, gossiping, threats, name-calling, harassment, mean words, lies

The simplest definition of cyberbullying is the use of technology by a young person to harass, embarrass or threaten another young person.  Some common examples* of cyberbullying are:

  • Harassment: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
  • Denigration: Distributing information about another that is derogatory and untrue through posting it on a web page, sending it to others through email or instant messaging, or posting or sending digitally altered photos of someone
  • Flaming: Online “fighting” using electronic messages with angry, vulgar language
  • Impersonation: Breaking into an email or social networking account and using that person’s online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others
  • Outing and Trickery: Sharing someone’s secrets or embarrassing information, or tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information and forwarding it to others
  • Cyber Stalking: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety (depending on the content of the message, it may be illegal)

* Nancy Willard with the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use (CSRIU) has developed this useful taxonomy of the various forms of cyber bullying. Visit CSRIU’s site.

Where does it happen?

Most of us have heard of chat rooms, text message, facebook, instant messenger, twitter and perhaps instagram.  These are the most widely used electronic mediums and most familiar to youth and adults alike. Of course, every day there seems to be some new website or “app” that is gaining in popularity.  Myspace is out. Snapchat is in.

mobile devices

Recently, some mobile apps that tout their anonymous posting ability have been gaining popularity.  These can be very welcoming opportunities for people bent on bullying. This article in NY Magazine describes several anonymous apps and what their capabilities are and this Boston Globe article describes the fallout some users of the apps have experienced.

Here is just one quote from the NY Magazine article that exemplifies how dangerous these can be:

App Store description: “Yik Yak acts like a local bulletin board for your area by showing the most recent posts from other users around you.”
What makes it different: Yik Yak is beloved by teenagers (and loathed by their teachers), who use it for all manner of anonymous shit-talking. 
Will Haskell wrote earlier this year about how Yik Yak’s text-only posts “brought [his] high school to a halt,” after messages like ““K. is a slut” and “The cheer team couldn’t get uglier” made their way onto the app.

Prevention Tips for Parents:

  • Know what technology your child is using
  • Learn how their electronic devices work
  • Lead by example – do not post anything on social media that you would not want your child to see or post themselves
  • Monitor their social media accounts, either by “friending” them or asking to see their computer/phone  There are APPs you can download to help you monitor your kids.
  • Talk to your kids about internet safety – remind them of the basics
    • Never share your password
    • Do not give out personal information such as address or phone number
    • Never post/send information or photos that you wouldn’t want a non-friend to see
    • People online are not always who they say they are
    • Tell a trusted adult if someone threatens, insults, scares or is somehow mean to you or someone else
    • Never share an embarrassing photo of someone else
    • Think before you post – once you post something on the internet (or send a message) you have no control over what happens next with that information/photo

Warning signs that your child may be a target of cyberbullying:

  • They are upset after using their phone/computer
  • They try and hide their computer screen/phone from you
  • Sudden avoidance of school and peer activities
  • Sudden decline in grades

What to do if you suspect your child is being cyberbullied:

  • Do not blame your child, even if they have not followed your advice on how to behave online.  Support them through this difficult time and offer to help them find support services if they want them (or if you think they need them).
  • Do not engage the bully.  Do not respond to their messages or posts unless you want to send ONE message stating that what they are doing is harassment and if they continue you will report them (and then follow through on that).
  • Block the bully from access to your child.  You can block them on social media sites and you can have your cell phone provider block them as well as filter out their email.
  • If the bully is a classmate, check your school’s bulling policy.  You can find Nantucket Public School’s policy HERE.  You may also want to contact the bully’s parents to let them know what is going on.
  • Contact the administrators of the social media site where the bullying occurs.  Often harassing behavior is against terms of service and the bully’s account can be deactivated.

More resources:

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Nantucket!

Men of Nantucket, are you Man Enough? (we think so!) 

“You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” 

On June 29th, from 11am-1pm at Children’s Beach, Nantucket men, lead by members of Man Up will have the opportunity to do just that in a walk-a-thon event to raise funds for A Safe Place.

Men in heels

photo courtesy of Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune/ZUMA Press

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is an event designed to raise awareness about violence against women by asking men to literally walk a mile in high heeled shoes. It’s not easy to walk in these shoes, but it’s fun and will help the Nantucket community think and talk about some difficult issues: gender relations and men’s sexual violence against women.

We are encouraging good natured competition between teams and individuals who will be vying for prizes based on their creativity and fundraising totals.

Getting involved is simple.  Register NowJust click to register or donate!




This will be an eye-opening experience or many, a fun spectacle to watch for women, and, we hope, a conversation starter for all.

Please call our office if you are interested in volunteering or sponsorship opportunities.

A Safe Place partners with the Nantucket License Plate Initiative

We have become a partner in the Nantucket License Plate initiative.  When you apply for the plate just note that A Safe Place sent you!  We get $28 for each application that mentions us.

Wouldn’t your car look great cruising the island with one of these plates?  Anyone with a car registered in Massachusetts can order one!Nantucket license plate

The Nantucket specialty license plate is now available for pre-order through this website and via paper application available at many locations around the island (including our office). When MassDOT receives 1,500 paid applications the plates will go into production. After the first 1,500 plates are delivered the specialty license plates will be made available in RMV location across Massachusetts.


Man Up attends White Ribbon Day events

On March 6 members of Man Up travelled to the State House in Boston to participate in the 7th Annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign events.  They joined over 450 other participants from across Massachusetts – advocates, high school and college students, law enforcement, senators, state representatives and other elected officials – who are committed to putting an end to domestic and sexual violence.

Since 2008 Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, has organized White Ribbon Day as a primary prevention strategy to help end male violence against women.  The white ribbon represents men taking a public pledge to promote healthy masculinity and speak out against all forms of violence against women.Take the pledge. Wear the ribbon.

Locally, Man Up Nantucket distributed printed cards with their pledge and white ribbons to several locations so Nantucket men could show their support.

The text of the pledge is:

From this day forward, I will stand up and speak out against gender based violence on Nantucket, and will work with other islanders to break the silence around harassment, domestic violence and sexual assault.

The event in Boston was powerful and invigorating.  The members of Man Up are grateful to have had the opportunity to join so many men working to end violence in their communities.

For more information on Man Up, like them on Facebook where you can keep up to date on all news and activities.