By Assistant Secretary for Children, Youth and Families Marilyn Anderson Chase
The Patrick-Murray Administration’s $10 million Safe and Successful Youth Initiative is designed to end youth violence in communities throughout the Commonwealth. As part of this initiative, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) today unveiled an online public service announcement entitled: “Stop. Think. Let it Go.” The public awareness campaign is designed to encourage youth to think and reconsider the consequences of their actions before engaging in violent activity. The PSA follows a related radio campaign which began last summer to promote the state’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative.
“We are working alongside municipal leaders, local law enforcement and community groups to focus on those young people most likely to be affected by violence,” said Governor Patrick. “I hope the stories in this video will help our young residents realize that peace is possible in our communities.”
At the core of this initiative are partnerships between state and local government and the communities in which we are targeting youth violence. The testimonies in this video illustrate the devastating impact of youth violence; we’re confident that its message will reach our target youth audience and beyond.
The Initiative specifically targets young men between the ages of 14 and 24, identified as potentially high risk for becoming either perpetrators, or victims, of violence. The “Stop. Think. Let it go.” viral video includes authentic testimonies from family members of youth who have been victims of violence and from youth who had previously engaged in violent acts.
“She didn’t have to die. She was stolen. Not from me, from her mom or her dad, but from everyone who loved her," said Bayholla Jacobs, one of the subjects of the video who lost her niece to gun violence. "Don’t take your pain out on other people. Don’t lose yourself to violence.”
This video reflects the dedicated efforts of EOHHS, the Executive Office of Public Safety, municipal leadership and community partners who are all working together to end youth violence in the Commonwealth. It also sends the message in an incredibly powerful way that violence is preventable and reinforces our commitment to the youth of Massachusetts, all of whom are invaluable assets to our communities.
View the “Stop. Think.” video: