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Elder Abuse

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(Revoking and Superceding Executive Order Nos. 357 and 437)

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 357 reiterated the existence of a state of

emergency in this Commonwealth resulting from the unacceptable frequency and severity

of domestic violence;

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 357 reestablished an Advisory Commission on

Domestic Violence to make recommendations to the Governor on all aspects of the

domestic violence crisis in the Commonwealth;

WHEREAS, Executive Order 437 declared that sexual violence cannot be

tolerated in our Commonwealth and must not go unpunished;

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 437 acknowledged that sexual violence runs

deep in the fabric of our society and it is critical that preventative and therapeutic services

throughout the Commonwealth be readily accessible and structured to create a

coordinated statewide response system for all victims of sexual assault and abuse;

WHEREAS, Executive Order 437 established the Governor's Task Force on

Sexual Assault and Abuse to advise and make recommendations to the Governor as to

how the current systems of services delivered throughout the Commonwealth to address

sexual violence may best be enhanced to improve the treatment and support provided to

victims of sexual assault and abuse and to ensure that such violence will not be tolerated:

WHEREAS, said Advisory Commission and Task Force did effectively and

thoroughly consider each of these aspects of sexual and domestic violence, making useful

and well-considered recommendations;




(617) 725-4000

WHEREAS, there remains in this Commonwealth an unacceptable frequency and

severity of sexual and domestic violence;

WHEREAS,' the Commonwealth must continue to coordinate and integrate policy

on all aspects of sexual and domestic violence at the highest levels of state government,

and to maintain cooperation within the public safety, health, human services, educational,

legal, religious and business communities; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth must ensure that all of our state agencies and

institutions are: protecting people in the Commonwealth from sexual and domestic

violence; providing the necessary services and legal protections to enable survivors to

achieve health and safety; and ensuring that perpetrators are held fully accountable for

their acts.

NOW THEREFORE I, Mitt Romney, Governor of the Commonwealth of

Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate,

do hereby revoke Executive Order Nos. 357 and 437, and order as follows:

Section 1. There is hereby established the Governor's Commission on Sexual

and Domestic Violence. It shall be the responsibility of the Commission to make

recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretaries of Public Safety and

Health and Human Services on all aspects of sexual and domestic violence in the

Commonwealth. The Lieutenant Governor will report such recommendations to the

Governor. In support of this objective, the Commission shall:

a. obtain, interpret, and apply current research and evaluation infonnation to

program initiatives and policy development and identify and suggest

solutions to address gaps in current knowledge and dimensions of sexual

and domestic violence;

b. consider the need for further legislation to protect victims, punish and treat

perpetrators, and reduce and prevent the incidence of sexual and domestic


c. consider further policy initiatives to assure effective, unifonn, and

collaborative response by law enforcement, criminal justice, judicial,

health and human service agencies, including but not limited to the

enhancement of interagency communication and cooperation, as well as -

the timely and accurate sharing of infonnation between law enforcement,

criminal justice, judicial personnel, the private bar, and other victim

service providers;

d. consider measures which will better enable victims of domestic violence

(and sexual violence when applicable) to transition from violent

relationships to violence-free lives, including providing victims with


necessary protection, shelter, advocacy, counseling, and other identified


e. consider measures to prevent and reduce the incidence of sexual and

domestic violence through public education and awaren.ess that sexual and

domestic violence are criminal acts; and

f. consider such other measures to address sexual and domestic violence, and

child sexual abuse, as the Commission deems appropriate.

Section 2. The Lieutenant Governor or her designee shall Chair the

Commission. The Secretary of Public Safety and the Secretary of Health and Human

Services, or their designees, shall be vice-chairs of the Commission. The Commission

shall be located within the Executive Office of Public Safety. The nUmber of public and

private members may be limited at the discretion of the Chair but shall consist of the

following additional members: the Secretary of Elder Affairs, Commissioner of the

Department of Education, the Director of the Department of Housing and Community

Development, or their designees; in addition, the Governor shall appoint at least one

representative each from the Office of the Attorney General, the district attorneys of the

Commonwealth, victims' assistance agencies, police departments, certified batterers'

programs, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, the Massachusetts

Senate, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the Massachusetts District Court(s)

to be appointed with the approval of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court,

survivors of sexual and domestic violence, the religious community, and such other

members as the Governor deems appropriate. Commission members shall serve at the

pleasure of the Governor and without compensation.

Section 3. The administrative operations of the Commission shall vest with

an Executive Director, who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Chair.

With the approval of the Chair, the Executive Director may create committees to carry

out the Commission's responsibilities. The Chair shall appoint chairs or co-chairs to

lead each committee. Any such committee chair shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair.

Section 4. The Chair shall appoint a Steering Committee. The Steering

Committee shall be responsible for developing and implementing plans to carry out the

mandates established in Section 1 above, and any other goals established by the

Commission. The Steering Committee shall establish a specific time frame for the

accomplishment of any such plan.

Section 5. The Commission may call upon and utilize additional services of

individuals and entities from outside its membership for support, research, or other

functions necessary and appropriate to accomplish the objectives of the Commission.


Section 6. The Commission shall meet at such times and at such intervals as

the Chair or her designee shall direct.

Given at the Executive Chamber in

Boston this -2 day of /'1 ~ IV

Two Thousand and Three


William Francis GalVIn

Secretary of the Commonwealth


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