By Sue Ellen Woodcock
As part of domestic violence awareness month, Mayor Brian Arrigo turned the steps of city hall into a place overflowing with information and support for domestic violence victims last Wednesday.
Domestic violence has been a concern for years, and was brought to the forefront in Revere with the recent murder of wife and mother Vanessa MacCormack, 30, at the hands of her husband.
“Domestic violence is far too prevalent in our city and our country,” said Arrigo. “We want to make sure people know there are services available and HarborCOV is one of the best services around.”
At the event, residents had a chance to meet with staff of HarborCOV to learn about available resources to help prevent domestic violence and offer support to victims.
HarborCOV is a regional organization based in Chelsea whose mission is to provide services to victims and survivors of domestic violence, and educate the public about its causes and consequences. If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, HarborCOV’s 24-hour hotline can be reached at 617-884-9909. The SafeLink phone number covering the state is (877) 785-2020, and nationally the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
“Speak up if you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation,” Arrigo said. “If you speak up, you could save a life.”
Kourou Pich, co-executive director of HarborCOV, said domestic violence is a public health concern and can take the form of physical, verbal, emotional, financial and sexual abuse.
“One in three women and one in four men have been victims of one form of violence from an intimate partner within their lifetime,” Pich said. “The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases homicides by 500 percent.’
“No one should have to live in fear,” said Police Chief James Guido. “I encourage people not to be afraid. We have a strong partnership with HarborCOV”
The Revere Police Department has officers dedicated to combatting domestic violence. Lt. John Azzari, Capt. Michelle Mangino and Lee Nugent all work together on Revere domestic violence cases. The police have also been working with the immigrant population to let them know it is safe to come to the police.
“No one should fear the police, we are here to help,” Guido said.
“Revere has embraced the issue and this recent situation has been good at raising consciousness,” Pich said, adding that HarborCOV has a variety of supports and housing options such as emergency housing and transitional housing. She added that 350-450 victims find themselves in a fleeing situation.