On Thursday, September 26, 2019, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined spoke out against domestic violence during the annual Gladys Ricart & Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk.
The event, which is commonly known as the Brides March, was started in 2001 in honor of Gladys Ricart, a woman who was murdered in New Jersey in 1999 by her abusive former boyfriend on the day she was to wed her fiancé.
“I wish we didn’t need to have a Brides March every year, but domestic violence is still pervasive and we won’t stop until it is a thing of the past. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. Gladys’ family will always feel the pain of her loss, but she will never be forgotten by them or by us,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
About Brides’ March
The Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk/Brides’ March is an annual event which was started in New York City in 2001 to remember Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman from Washington Heights, who was murdered in New Jersey on September 26, 1999, by her abusive former boyfriend on the day she was to wed her fiancé.
The first March took place on September 26, 2001, the second anniversary of Gladys’ murder. The idea for the March was originated by Josie Ashton, a young Dominican woman from Florida, who was moved by the murder and outraged at the media and community’s insensitive response to Gladys’ murder. Josie resigned from her job and sacrificed more than three months of her life away from her then young family to walk, in a wedding gown, through several states down the East Coast ending in her home state of Florida, all in an attempt to draw attention to the horrors of domestic violence.
To date, thousands of women, men, and youth, among them members of the Ricart family and other families affected by domestic violence, along with elected officials, civic leaders, clergy, students, and scores of domestic violence advocates and survivors, gather every September 26, rain or shine, to memorialize Gladys and the many other victims who have also lost their lives to domestic violence, and raise awareness of the horrors of domestic violence.
Marches have also taken place in Miami, FL, Lawrence, MA, Newburgh, NY, and Milwaukee, WI. In 2003 actress, Salma Hayek, in collaboration with Marie Claire Magazine, held a March in Washington, DC. In 2005 actor, author and child survivor of domestic violence, Victor Rivers participated in the New York, NY March.
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