By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Vanessa MacCormack, 30, became the 28th victim of domestic violence this year in Massachusetts when her husband killed her on Sept. 25 inside their Grand View Avenue home.
This past Friday, she became the center of a domestic violence vigil held in front of Revere City Hall, attended by local officials, domestic violence survivors and concerned citizens. The Chelsea organization HarborCOV partnered with the city to bring awareness about domestic violence.
During the vigil people thought of MacCormack’s 1-year-old daughter Adrianna and the 24 second-grade school children at the Connery School in Lynn, MacCormack’s hometown.
“The City of Revere joins Vanessa’s family in mourning and remembering her,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “When a tragedy like this occurs it can feel like an isolated incident, one that came out of nowhere, and that no one could saw coming. The fact is that incidences of domestic violence are anything but isolated.”
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said the community needs to stand together, united against intimate partner violence. He also wanted to remember the four men who have also died this year from domestic violence, but whose stories are often overlooked because of their gender.
“I am sad. I am frustrated and I am angry,” DeLeo said. “Let us grieve and unite against violence and come together in love and community.”
“Domestic violence is everyone’s business and does not discriminate based on race, socio economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” said Kourou Pich, HarborCOV Co-Executive Director. “We must realize that this type of violence affects all of us, and we need to stand together to support our friends, neighbors and families and affect broader change.”
Toni Troop, of Jane Doe Inc. said 347 intimate partners have been killed in Massachusetts since 2003, including men, women and children.
“These numbers are a call to action,’ Troop said.
Connecting to a domestic violence advocate is a strong, protective factor, she said, adding that 50 per cent of victims treated medically underestimated their risk.
“Advocates are hear to listen,” Troop said. “We must be powerful voices for domestic violence prevention. We have to turn our grieving to action.”
One in four women (24.3 percent) and one in seven men (13.8 percent) aged 18 and older in the United States has been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people each year.
Revere Police chief James Guido said, “The Revere Police Department is very proactive in the area of Domestic Violence, and offers services whenever necessary to all victims who have experienced abuse. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Vanessa’s family, and all victims of Domestic Violence.
As Chief of Police, I personally have seen the effects of Domestic Violence, and how afraid victims are to come forward. Our Domestic Violence unit is always ready to assist in any way they can. If you know of someone who needs help and is afraid to contact us, please reach out to us so we can help. We are here to protect and serve the public.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, speak out and seek help. There are programs across Massachusetts that provide free and confidential services, including SafeLink, a 24-hour statewide hotline, at 1-877-785-2020, and HarborCOV’s 24-hour hotline at 617-884-9909. You can also find more information about domestic violence and a list of local services atwww.janedoe.org/find_help.