Advocates hope that a newly formed men's group will fill a gap in domestic violence prevention programs in North Adams.

The Berkshire Eagle reports the group has held its first meeting and will gather again at 5 p.m. June 26, at a location to be determined.

The group expects to shape programming and take action to lessen violence, working with the Elizabeth Freeman Center, a nonprofit that provides services related to domestic violence and sexual assault with offices in North Adams, Pittsfield, and Great Barrington.

A call by two city councilors in January to address domestic violence in North Adams already has brought results, including the men's group.

City Councilor Benjamin Lamb and Councilor Marie Harpin acted in the wake of the killing of city resident Christa Steele-Knudslien. Her husband, Mark Steele-Knudslien, has been charged with murder.

The city plans to develop and participate in programming connected to National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

It will also discuss a city presence at the Elizabeth Freeman Center's annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes awareness event, and a second coalition forum.

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