Thousands of men and women marched the streets of downtown Honolulu on Thursday, to raise awareness about domestic violence.
The 24th annual Men’s March Against Violence began at the state capitol where victims of domestic violence were remembered.
“Her family prays those in similar situations will reach out for help and not be [hila hila] or shameful if they are in a stressful or abusive relationship,” said march coordinator Ikaika Hussey.
“We’re not here just for those who were murdered this year, but for all the victims of domestic violence, and the survivors of domestic abuse,” he continued.
According to the march coordinators, so far this year, the Domestic Violence Action Center has helped 3,795 people put together safety plans to help get them out of abusive relationships.
“For those who died this year, we’re here to stand up and say please no more,” said Dr. Salvatore Lanzilotti.
Kauai County’s prosecuting attorney, Justin Kollar, received the Distinguished Citizen Award at the march. He told the crowd he’ll be back on Oahu tomorrow morning for a parole hearing involving a case where the husband killed his wife.
“Sitting next to me on the plane will be the victim’s grieving father. I’ll take him into Halawa prison and we’ll sit there in that cold, gray waiting room for several hours until the time comes for us to go sit in those metal chairs and talk to the commissioners about what happened in this case,” he said.
“I’m getting tired of taking grieving fathers, grieving partners, grieving children to prisons to confront their abusers,” Kollar said.
Another topic brought up at the march was the possible appointment of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“Today, we face too many people who make light of domestic violence and exploitation and down play it’s seriousness,” said Randy Perriera, Executive Director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association.
“It’s not acceptable, not okay to condone —even if it was high school or college fun —it’s not okay to ignore or down play this,” he said.
“It’s only fitting that we are having this event today admist a national conversation about whether it’s appropriate to put a credibly accused abuser on the highest court in our land, nominated by another self admitted abuser,” said Kollar.
“It’s been a sickening and exhausting period for the women in my life as this process has gone on,” he continued.
Many people today asking victim’s of domestic violence to speak up.
“Marching to end domestic violence is really about spreading awareness,” said Kevin Card, a first year medical student at JABSOM. “A big issue with domestic violence is that it’s not talked about, or it’s kept hidden or people don’t want to talk about domestic violence. So if we march and make it more aware that it’s a social issue, than we would have an easier time stopping it,” he said.