Brides against domestic violence

300 ‘brides’ took over the streets of Manhattan and the Bronx on Tuesday 26th. Latinas Against Domestic Violence dressed in their wedding gowns went out to the streets of New York to tell the world domestic violence must stop.

Every year since 2001, hundreds of ‘brides’ have marched through the streets of New York to demand the end of domestic violence. The annual Brides’ march, organized by Latinas Against Domestic Violence, is also known as the Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk.

September 26th marked the 7th anniversary of Gladys Ricart’s senseless death. Ricart, of Dominican origin, was killed by her ex-boyfriend the day she was marrying her new love, in 1999.

The six-mile march tries to raise awareness and educate women, pass on the message that help is available.

Organizers of the march say NYPD officers received more than 226,000 domestic violence calls in 2005. They also say there is a growing trend of teen relationship abuse.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. It affects every country, ethnic group, religion and social class.

According to Irish organization Women’s Aid, founded in 1974, one out of five women in Ireland has suffered some kind of domestic violence.

Women’s Aid responded to more than 12,000 calls to the Women’s Aid Helpline in 2004, which represents a 5% increase on the 2003 figures. In 2003, Gardai recorded 8,452 call outs involving domestic violence incidents. In 2004, 10,944 calls were received by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

111 women have been murdered in Ireland since 1996, a significant number by a partner or ex-partner.