Despite efforts to reduce domestic violence in New York City, so far 67 women this year have lost their lives in circumstances that suggest abuse.
Domestic violence does not discriminate among nationality, race or class. But one of the cases that remains most outstanding is the murder of Gladys Ricart on what was supposed to be her wedding day.
This is why many of the women who participated in yesterday’s Brides’ March are Latinas who have witnessed or experienced violence from their partners.
The call now is for grooms to come out and march in the same numbers that women do. Let fathers, brothers, sons, nephews, boyfriends and all men who have been affected or stand to be affected by abusive behavior come out and say enough.
Let the grooms march. Let our Caribbean, Mexican, Central and South American men say NO to abusers.
Let them shout it loud so that our young girls and boys-who are our community’s future-can hear that there is no excuse or tolerance for verbal and physical aggression.
And let our boys and men know that abusive behavior toward women has consequences. Teach them to turn away from anger, to demonstrating respect instead of domination, because every time we lose a woman, we also lose a man, and destroy a family.
Let our men march. And let them do so thinking that Yorceli Flores, Margarita Feliciano, Elia Zamora, Cinthya López, Miguelina Chavalier, and other Hispanic women who recently died in the hands of abusers, could have been the daughter, sister or mother in their lives.
It is time to talk openly about this crisis that consumes too many families. Respect begins at home and in our communities. The brides are doing their part. The grooms should march too-en masse.