By Madina Toure
The Korean American Family Service Center hosted the 18th annual March Against Domestic Violence last week in downtown Flushing in commemoration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
More than 30 organizations joined KAFSC as partners in the silent march, which sought to raise awareness about domestic violence. The march started in front of the 109th Precinct at 37-05 Union St. and concluded at the Flushing Library at 41-17 Main St.
This year’s theme was “I march because…” Elected officials, community partners and community members completed this sentence as a way of sharing their reasons for participating in the march.
KAFSC is a non-profit organization serving the New York tristate area that works to prevent and end domestic violence and relationship abuse and create a society free of violence.
The organization collected all the “I march because…” sentences and is posting them on its Facebook page and Twitter using the hashtag #IMarchBecause throughout the month of October. This is part of a “30 Days of Action” campaign to remember individuals who died as a result of domestic violence, individuals who currently suffer from it and those who survived it.
“I march because love shouldn’t hurt,” state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) said. “I march for the countless women and children who suffer in silence; who are too afraid to stand up and say enough is enough. I march to give them hope for a safer life.”
State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) said more needs to be done to raise awareness of domestic violence and remind the community that it is unacceptable.
“Victims of domestic violence should know that organizations, such as KAFSC, are available to provide support and help them understand their rights,” Braunstein said.
City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) said domestic violence and sexual assault are universal problems spanning all races, classes and genders.
“Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault often feel insecure, ashamed and fear judgment from others,” Koo said. “Today we march to let these victims know that there are resources and people ready and able to help them end the cycle of abuse.”
State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) urged individuals to speak up about domestic violence and sexual assault.
“As a community, we need to recognize that domestic violence exists and make sure that we are educating our community members and our survivors and their families while providing them the voice they deserve,” Kim said. “With this march, this is our community saying loudly and clearly that sexual assault is never acceptable.”
KAFSC will be hosting the Purple 5K Dash to End Domestic Violence, a run/walk campaign to raise funds for the Rainbow House Shelter, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park Oct. 17 at 10:30 a.m.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour