Members give back: former DA honored for domestic violence prevention

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
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MBA member Gerry Leone, a partner at Nixon Peabody.

As a tireless advocate on behalf of victims and those impacted by domestic violence throughout his career, it's only fitting that Massachusetts Bar Association member Gerry Leone, a partner at Nixon Peabody, was recently honored in four events during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

Leone, a former Middlesex County district attorney, was a featured speaker on a domestic violence panel discussion on Oct. 8 for Jane Doe Inc. (JDI), the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Their meeting hosted a national audience of coalition directors, representing more than 2,000 domestic violence organizations. Leone joined his fellow panelists in discussing the "pro bono culture" of Boston, and why many companies and firms here consider it an important part of their culture to be engaged in communities, and use this as a selling point in hiring and attracting talent.

In recognition for his years of work as a prosecutor and district attorney on behalf of victims of domestic violence, Leone was recently presented with the Rita Bourgeois Leadership Award by RESPOND. RESPOND has provided life-saving shelter, support services, training and education to more than 100,000 members of the community for over 35 years. RESPOND cited Leone's work in developing an innovative and wide-reaching domestic violence programmatic approach highlighting effective law enforcement through investigation and prosecution, and thoughtful and creative prevention through education and training. He was the keynote speaker at RESPOND's Domestic Violence Gala 2013 on October 18.

On October 19, Leone served as Special Guest and Honorary Event Chair for Voices Against Violence's second annual 5K Walk to Break the Silence. That same day, Leone was also honored at the REACH for the Stars Gala in Boston. REACH (Refuge, Education, Advocacy, Change) is non-profit organization providing safety and support to survivors of abuse while engaging communities to promote healthy relationships and prevent domestic violence. Its services support 27 communities in Greater Boston, while their shelter and hotline provide help for individuals throughout Massachusetts.