Fourteen years ago today, the community was shocked by the brutal murder of Dominican bride Gladys Ricart. Hours before her wedding, her ex-boyfriend knocked on her door and shot her dead.
Ever since that day, her murder has become a rallying cry for the Latinas Against Domestic Violence movement in New York. It is expected that more than a hundred women dressed as brides will march today on the Upper Manhattan to raise awareness about the plague that only last year killed 13 women in the city.
The Brides March has a special significance this year. The recent scandals of women abused by sports and music stars, among other celebrities, should help us encourage those who suffer in silence to break the cycle of domestic violence. It’s time to act and take advantage of all the resources available at both the federal and local level.
We only need to look at the example set by Guadalupe Pérez, a Mexican mother who endured 12 years of physical and verbal abuse until she mustered the courage to pick up the phone and call 311. “It was like being born again,” she told us recently in an interview.
Her life did a complete turnaround. She became an activist, and now she helps others win the same battle she had to fight herself.
Battered women, it’s up to you. Ask for help. Nothing can justify being hurt either verbally or physically.
Don’t expose your children to witnessing, and repeating in the future, this sick pattern that will only weaken the base of our society: family. It is estimated that between 50% and 70% of men who abuse their partners also do so with their kids.
At least 3.3 million kids between 3 and 19 years old are exposed to domestic violence every year in the United States. What are waiting for to put a stop to domestic violence? If Guadalupe could do it, so can you. Don’t suffer in silence. We stand with you