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30 years ago, Anita Hill inspired women’s group in Concord to form

In this Oct. 11, 1991, photo, Anita Hill testifies in the Russell Caucus room on Capitol Hill in Washington where the Senate Judiciary Committee was hearing testimony on the nomination of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. Hill alleged Thomas made unwanted sexual advances and lewd remarks while he was her employer.Greg Gibson/Associated Press

Re “How you can help end gender-based violence” by Anita F. Hill (Opinion, Nov. 30): I have a vivid memory of watching Anita Hill’s testimony to Congress on a little television I brought from home to place on my desk on Oct. 11, 1991. My day’s work was left for the next morning.

In February 1992, a group of women were gathered in my living room to found the Concord Network for Women’s Lives. While a considerable amount of research was available at the time, domestic violence was neither well known nor well understood by the public.

Those early years we often felt overwhelmed to learn the extent and scope of violence, physical, psychological, and emotional. We came to understand victims’ range of experiences, issues of law-enforcement and judicial responses to domestic disturbance calls, and our own risks in meddling with male privilege. It became evident that men had no expectation of consequences for anything they did to a woman, whether it be in their home, their office, or elsewhere.


We embarked on education, we made mistakes, we endured, we morphed into a more formal community organization. As the 30th anniversary of the Concord Network for Women’s Lives approaches, we pause to thank Anita Hill again.

Nancy James