Pittsburgh's civic, corporate and community leaders spoke out against domestic violence Thursday at the fourth annual Father's Day pledge. The event was an initiative of Southwest PA Says No More, a coalition of organizations that fight against harassment and assault.
Kristy Trautmann, executive director of the FISA Foundation, says this year has been unprecedented for women coming forward and sharing experiences of assault. The local organization advocates for the rights of women, girls and people with disabilities.
"The Father's Day pledge is really an opportunity specifically for men to step forward and speak out on this issue," Trautmann said.
In April, lawmakers in Harrisburg passed Tierne's Law, a package of bills to better protect victims of domestic violence. One bill makes relocation easier for people in housing assistance if they are trying to escape an abusive partner. Another strengthens rules for Protection From Abuse orders.
Trautmann said laws that fight domestic violence are important, but change starts close to home.
"If we hope to change the culture, I think we need to start talking to young people about healthy relationships and relationship behaviors that cross the line," she said.