Love Shouldn’t Hurt

Domestic Violence Awareness month is in October. Many are going purple, yet it’s still not talked about as much as it should be. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime. One in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence. Most of these crimes go unreported due to the belief system of the person who is being abused. On average, 20 people per minute are physically abused.

I am sharing this due to my own physical abuse that never was reported. When I was abused as a child and as an adult, I believed that love was abuse. It wasn’t until something tragic happened to someone I loved that I realized what was happening to me.

Behind the walls of the home, domestic violence plays out. Men and women inflict harm on each other. Tragically, children also become the victims of domestic violence, either directly or by watching a parent abuse another.

Rarely is a camera present to record the crime. Other than the victim, there is often no one to witness the emotional, verbal, physical and/or sexual abuse. Often the victim feels trapped or helpless. Abusers isolate their victims and eliminate any “lifeline” that the victim might have. Many times, the victim feels as though it is his or her word against the abuser’s. Many times, a man who is being abused will be disregarded when he calls out his abuser.

Every year I have an event that aims to spread awareness. This year  is partnering with Casa Cares at the Copacabana and other organizations to share vital information to those who may need help. We will start the night off with information and tabling with experts who can offer advice on how you can become part of the solution, or if you yourself is in need of help, these organizations will help you connect to resources you need. Then we will have a panel discussion.

Queen Esther Arrroyo, a longtime Rockaway resident who has worked to deter violence and has her own organization, Queen Royal Priesthood, will be sharing her story on how abuse affected her life and the life of others around her. We will be having many others on the panel that will bring different perspectives from law enforcement to a male domestic violence survivor and much more. Gina Vasquez, a Rosedale resident, will be sharing empowerment through Zumba classes and a professional belly dancing class. Tyrone Turner, a Rockaway resident, will be sharing his self-defense skills. Last, we will have a fashion show with two amazing designers, Richard Quinones Couture and Nege Styles, and models who support the cause.

We are encouraging people to shine the light on Domestic Violence by wearing the color purple that evening. The event will be held at The Copacabana, 625 West 51st  in Manhattan, on October 21 from 4-8 p.m. All are welcome.

Also consider participating in the Far Rockaway Cancer and Domestic Violence Walk on Sunday, October 16 at 8 a.m. on Beach 17th Street.

My motto is see something, do something. To see change, we must be the change.

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