Sturgis Teen creates musical message to peers through an Independence House Call-To-Action during
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Hyannis, MA, April 1, 2017   -A musically talented high school student combined his skills at song writing, singing and playing multiple instruments to compose and produce a heart-felt music video performance carrying an important message to his peers about respect in relationships.  David Girardin, a junior at Sturgis Public Charter School in Hyannis responded to Independence House's "Let Your Voice Be Heard" call-to-action during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month offering high school students the opportunity to create positive messages through music about preventing dating violence. 

The song, titled "We are the Change" addresses abuse in dating relationships. In David's use of a metaphor about an angel, his message of power and control over another in a relationship as harmful is powerful. Other lyrics make the message more direct when he sings, "No Means No and Yes Means Yes, why is there a disconnect?" and "Love's only love when there's respect," and "We need to change we've made the first step."

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month occurs each February and is nationally recognized as a time to talk about, and take action about the level of dating violence among high school adolescents.  In statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention taken from a recent survey, 1 in 10 teens reported being hit or physically hurt on purpose by their dating partner at least once in the 12 months before they took the survey. reports that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year, and 1 in 3 adolescents is a victim of not only physical, but also sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from their dating partner.

Independence House Executive Director, Lysetta Hurge-Putnam expresses, "We are so impressed with David's recording which is an excellent action on his part to directly and immediately speak to his peer group about a taboo topic, which is the significant problem of adolescent relationship violence. It is truly inspiring that David and many other young people are activating an important movement towards a cultural shift where our cultural norms challenge violence and abuse in relationships and empower young women and men to claim the right to be involved in healthy, happy, safe and respectful relationships."

Independence House will present David with a recording studio session sponsored by Seasound Recording Studios in Plymouth to professionally record this important and exceptional musical message.   David's video compilation of "We are the Change" will remain as part of the Independence House YouTube channel playlist at and be featured on both and websites.

Independence House offers counseling, advocacy and assistance for teenagers who are experiencing violence in, or questioning their dating relationships. Online confidential teen support is available at, through direct text at 508.375.5144 or the 24 hour hotline at 800.439.6507. Independence House also partners with students across Cape Cod on primary prevention strategies that promote safe and healthy relationships by facilitating the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) curriculum in nine Cape Cod high schools. The curriculum includes education on teen abuse, how to spot warning signs, and how to be an active bystander. As part of the "Game Change" partnership with the Attorney General's (AG) Office and The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Independence House participates in an in-depth training for staff, parents and administrators from 30 high schools across the State.

APRIL is SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH with a series of events on Cape Cod
Independence House, in collaboration with The Clothesline Project, The Cape and Islands Enough Abuse Campaign and Cape Cod Community College, is scheduled to present a series of events in April to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

On April 11th-12th, from 11:00 am through 5:00 pm each day, the entire Cape Cod collection of The Clothesline Project will be on display in the Quad at Cape Cod Community College.  The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to violence against women. Each t-shirt is created and designed to represent a particular person's experience as a survivor or by someone who cares about the survivor or victim of domestic or sexual violence. 

On April 11th at the College, a showing of the movie "Spotlight" will take place from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Tilden Arts Center. On April 12th, the movie "It's Not Just Jenna" will be shown from 2:30 pm-4:30 pm in Lecture Hall A and is sponsored by the Cape and Islands Enough Abuse Campaign. 
Additional events are being held in Provincetown earlier in the month.  On April 7th from 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, Independence House will be the featured organization at the Writer's Voice Cafe's monthly workshop held at the Provincetown Library.  Discussion will also include The Clothesline Project and participants will have the opportunity to create their own t-shirt.  On April 8th at the Provincetown Library from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, the Cape and Islands Enough Abuse Campaign will host the movie "Spotlight," followed by discussion and refreshments. 

The public is invited to attend all events throughout the month of April. If you are a group or organization that would like to either host The Clothesline Project or learn more about the Cape and Islands Enough Abuse Campaign, please contact Chris Morin at or call 508-771-6507 x230.

Independence House is a member of the Cape Cod and Islands Enough Abuse Campaign, providing adults and communities with the knowledge and skills they need to put an end to the silence of child sexual abuse. 
Independence House and the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office present National Crime Victims' Week on Cape Cod
Independence House is partnering with the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office to bring a series of press conference style events to four locations on Cape Cod.  The project is supported by a National Crime Victims' Rights Week Community Awareness Project sub-grant awarded to Independence House by the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) through a cooperative agreement with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs and US Department of Justice. 

The National Crime Victims' Rights Week is an annual campaign designed to raise awareness of victims' rights and services, highlighting local programs, celebrating progress achieved, and honoring victims and the professionals who serve them.  This year's theme --Strength, Resilience, Justice-- reflects a vision in the future in which all victims are strengthened by the response they receive, organizations are resilient in response to challenges, and communities are able to seek collective justice and healing. 
  • On Monday, April 3rd, at 5:00 pm, we welcome the Brazilian community for an event at the Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands, 372 North Street in Hyannis. The public is invited.
  • On Tuesday, April 4th, at 9:30 am, we meet with Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School students.
  • On Wednesday, April 5th, at 1:00 pm, we welcome the senior community at the Sandwich Council on Aging, 270 Quaker Meeting House Road in East Sandwich. The public is invited.
  • On Thursday, April 6th, at 10:00 am, the week will conclude by meeting with students of Nauset Regional High School.
Representatives from the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office, Independence House, and local Police Departments will be speaking at these events.  If you would like to receive information such as flyers and brochures to distribute in your community, please contact Chris Morin at or call 508-771-6507 x230.
24-HOUR HOTLINE: 800-439-6507 

For appointments, please call Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm:

MAIN OFFICE, HYANNIS:  160 Bassett Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601
Monday-Thursday 9am-7pm, Friday 9am-5pm.  Walk-ins welcome. 

Other locations: 
FALMOUTH: 220 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Falmouth, MA 02540 
(Mon 9am-7pm, Tue 9am-5pm, Wed 9-11am or by appointment, Thu 9am-6pm,   Fri 9am-5pm, walk ins welcome)
ORLEANS: 5 Namskaket Rd. Unit 1, Orleans, MA 02653
(Mon 9am-5pm, Tue 11am-7pm, Wed 9-11am, Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-5pm)
PROVINCETOWN: 2 Mayflower Ct., Provincetown, MA 02657 (Thursday by appointment)
To assist with 209A abuse prevention orders and 258E harassment prevention orders, Independence House Court Advocates are available in ALL Cape Cod District and Probate Court Houses during normal court business hours. 
FALMOUTH DISTRICT COURT: 161 Jones Ave, Falmouth
ORLEANS DISTRICT COURT: 237 Rock Harbor Rd., Orleans
BARNSTABLE DISTRICT AND PROBATE COURT: 3195 Main (Court Complex), Barnstable
Independence House Domestic Violence Advocates are available at the  following police departments:
YARMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT: Tues & Fri 9am-12pm 508-775-0445 x2181
FALMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT: Mon, Tues & Fri 8am-4pm 774-255-4527 x4550

Independence House is a long standing
member of  Jane Doe, Inc.

Independence House is the proud recipient of the 2016  Cape and Islands United Way Community Investment Grant