An impassioned gathering of men—young and old, of varying ethnicities, high school students and community leaders—spoke Wednesday on the steps of City Hall for the Fifth Annual New York City Father’s Day Pledge.
The pledge, made now by over 10, 000 men from all walks of life, is a commitment to end violence in homes, schools, and communities. Wednesday’s event, presented by Council member Laurie Cumbo, involved the collaboration of elected officials and anti-violence community movements.
Domestic violence affects one in every four relationships, and occurs across all strata of society, according to a study from Baylor University in Texas.
According to Cumbo, 11,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in her district last year.
“And that’s just what’s reported to police” she said.
The figure was even higher at 25,000 cases in lower income neighborhoods like East New York, Brownsville, and Canarsie, Cumbo said.
“The intensity” of financial stress for people, particularly in poorer communities, does “lead to domestic violence,” Cumbo added. She feels that the city’s current administration has a stronger focus on equal resource distribution that will help lessen financial stress.
“In this budget, more money will go to the Bronx than ever before,” Cumbo said
Quentin Walcott, the director of CONNECT, recognizes failure to communicate as a major factor in the proliferation of domestic violence. Part of the value of an event like the Father’s Day Pledge, he said, lies in its “ability to engage men and boys in talking about violence against women, girls, and other men.”
The event grows every year. This year the pledge has extended to 55 cities, including Toronto and Quebec.
Wednesday’s event concluded with a rousing rendition of “Great Gettin’ Up Morning” by the Brooklyn Community Chorus ensemble.