The students at Revere High School were reminded Tuesday afternoon that they are "game changers" who are leading the way in violence prevention education, and representatives from the Patriots and Attorney General Maura Healey's Office were there to help send that message.
Robert Kraft, running back James White, former Patriot and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett and Attorney General Healey led a rally for Revere High School to launch the second phase of Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership. They were also joined by Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Robert DeLeo, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.
Game Change is a collaborative effort between the New England Patriots and Attorney General Maura Healey's Office that provides training for students, faculty and coaches in anti-violence techniques in order to educate schools and communities about the warning signs of domestic violence, sexual assault and abusive relationships.
The first phase of the program trained representatives from 90 Massachusetts schools in Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) curriculum through Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society.
The visit to Revere High School kicked off the second phase of Game Change, which gets student leaders even more involved. Students from 34 schools will receive on-site training in anti-violence strategies and will serve as peer educators to guide their classmates.
"It's about changing culture fundamentally. We need to get to people at a young age," Attorney General Healey said.
By offering educational tools and techniques, the students who become game changers are learning how to identify physically, mentally and emotionally abusive relationships and how to address them. Mr. Kraft said having people gain these tools at a young age will help create real change.
"When I hear that 1-in-3 women in this country will be subject to sexual or physical assault, that's just something we can't stand for as a society," Mr. Kraft said.
Though the statistics show domestic violence affects a large number of women and men, the students who are learning these techniques may not have encountered a situation where these skills are needed yet. Even if that is the case, James said the education they are getting regarding anti-violence strategies is invaluable.
"They might not know of anybody dealing with the situation of domestic violence, but if it happens they know how to react, whether it's calling the police or trying to intervene," James said. "They're learning what to do if they're put in that situation."
Attorney General Healey worked with survivors of domestic violence early in her career and said you can never do too much in terms of preventative measures. The Game Change initiative, she said, empowers people to know that they can help themselves, friends or family in a real way.
"This is about recognizing that each and every one you has the power to change your lives and the lives of those around you," she said. "That's what today is about everybody. That's why it's so important."
James echoed this, saying they were all in it together to put an end to domestic violence.
"We're all a part of this team," James said. "We need you guys to help spread the word. Talk to your teammates, family and friends about treating yourself with respect and treating others with respect."
Check out more pictures from the Game Change event in the gallery below.
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Attorney General Maura Healey, New England Patriots Hall of Famer Andre Tippett and Patriots running back James White joined more than 1,800 Revere High School students on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 to kick off the second phase of Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership.