On Jan. 13, Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez held a rally at Joyce Kilmer Park against domestic violence to show unity in support of women ad was joined by Council District 14 Candidate Pierina Sanchez, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Carlene Pinto, NYC Action Lab, Violence Interruption Program (VIP Mujeres), Latino Muslims of NY and Not On My Watch NYC.
“We’re here today to address an issue that has been a crisis in our community for much too long,” Fernandez said. “It’s a real problem when women don’t feel they can speak up or feel they will not be heard.
I’m here to say we cannot let that happen anymore, especially in the Bronx, where we have the most domestic violence cases of any borough in the city.”
The lawmaker feels domestic violence has increased during the pandemic as many people are stuck home with their abusers. In fact since COVID-19 her office has received calls from women who are victims.
Fernandez also called on Sepulveda to resign and drop out of the borough president race, claiming that he is not the type of leader the Bronx needs.
A few brave women spoke about domestic violence and the need for women to stand up for themselves.
Pinto stressed that machismo and misogyny by men must end. In addition to being a survivor of domestic violence, Pinto also recalled an incident from 2019 when she interrupted a press conference run by Sepulveda.
She then claimed that he went up to her and said “if she did that again she would have to answer to him.” Needless to say she was appalled.
“To any organizer who worked with an elected official and received unwarranted threats of violence we want you to come forward,” she said. “We must protect women.”
Tusha Diaz, the founder of Latino Muslims for NY, was joined by her friend Glennys Sanchez. Diaz explained it can be quite lonely as a victim of domestic violence and many women don’t know who to turn to.
She stressed that if any woman is in a being abused they must get help.
“There’s no amount of house and cars that should keep you in a relationship,” she said.
Sanchez was stabbed by a partner and is lucky to be alive. But, she left him, got her life on track, received help and obtained a degree.
“I took care of my daughter,” she explained tearfully. “I got out of the relationship. If I did it, you can do it.”
Photo Jason Cohen