I am a Cape Verdean man, a son, a husband, and father to a beautiful little girl. And as a man, I cannot stay silent with the news of new domestic violence within our community. In Dorchester, our community was shocked a little over a year ago when a man killed his girlfriend and himself after a domestic incident. No one saw it coming. And just this year, we lost a mother of two in Brockton to a jealous ex-boyfriend who again also killed himself.
These incidents should shock and enrage every one of us, men and women. I cannot read these stories without thinking of the women in my life I love, women I would do near anything to protect. And I cannot help but think that every victim is loved by others. Each is someone’s mother, daughter, cousin, sister, or wife.
And worse, these incidents are the tip of the iceberg, the visible part that marks a much larger thing lurking below. Domestic violence occurs every day and everywhere. Everyday someone ignores the warning signs, that black eye, the fearful look. Everyday, a mother blames herself or worries about her children if she leaves. And everyday, a sister protests to her brother, “he’ll never do it again.”
As men, we should not turn a blind eye to this problem. We are the mentors and guides of the next generation of young men. It is up to us to decide what messages they will hear, the values they are taught, and the relationships they will have. That is why I’ve taken the White Ribbon Pledge:
“From this day forward, I pledge to be part of the solution in ending violence against women and all gender-based violence.”
And I invite you to all do the same. On March 1st, men across our commonwealth will take this pledge at the Massachusetts State House. Please come join us. My office will also host a joint event with M.A.P.S at their Dorchester location on March 3rd at 4pm. I invite you all to join us as part of the solution.
If you or a loved one needs help, call CasaMyrna’s Safe Link hotline at (877) 785-2020 or M.A.P.S. (617) 825-5897.
If you have any questions about these or any other resources, please call my office at (617) 722-2460 or email me at Evandro.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evandro Carvalho is the State Representative for the Fifth Suffolk district in Massachusetts.
You can sign the pledge online too: Mass White Ribbon Day Pledge for Men and Boys