Pelosi Remarks at New York Brides’ March Press Conference on Domestic Violence Awareness

Oct 27, 2017
Press Release

Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence for a press conference to raise awareness of the impact of domestic violence and highlight the life and legacy of Washington Heights, New York bride-to-be Gladys Ricart, a victim of domestic violence who lost her life tragically on her wedding day.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you my colleague Congressman Espaillat, for your leadership in bringing the brides here, so we can stand against domestic violence.

To Josie Ashton, Founder of the Brides’ March, Maria Lizardo, Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation and the members of the Ricart family – thank you for turning your grief into action to help protect other women and other family members.

To our colleague Congressman Espaillat – thank you so much!  Let us thank him, because he’s not only here, he’s there every day on this subject, preaching this message that we must end domestic violence.  And it’s wonderful to hear that coming from a man.

The New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence: welcome to Washington, D.C., and to the other heroic groups that are here today as well.

You know the story very well: for sixteen years, thousands have marched to honor the memory of Gladys Ricart, who was brutally murdered by her former boyfriend on the day of her wedding.

In veils and dresses, we celebrate her beautiful life and grieve her tragic death.  We vow that her legacy will always be one of activism and action – not of silence and fear.  In Gladys’ name, we will continue to fight for a future in which every woman and man can live free from the fear of domestic violence.

Freedom from abuse is a human right.  Together, we must fight to ensure robust and equal protections for LGBT and immigrant communities.

We must fight to keep families safe from domestic gun violence.  We must fight to drag the plague of domestic abuse from the shadows, and end it forever.

I was listening to my colleague talk about legislation that makes progress and advances this – but we have to look at public policy in those ways.  As well as I remember years ago – I remember in order for a woman who was a victim of domestic violence to receive legal assistance, they tested the income of the abuser.  Imagine – they tested the income of the person who was abusing her – well your husband makes too much, you can’t have access when he’s the abuser in all of this.

So I’m really pleased that there’s so many efforts to engage men in all of this.  Joe Torre of baseball fame – a group we have in San Francisco ‘Futures Without Violence’ and any number of the groups that are here, as well as the Latinas we have here from New York.  Thank you!

For everyone who cares about family in our country, for everyone who cares about respect for women and men, and everyone who wants little boys to have a better example in their lives – we’re all very much in your debt.

We celebrate your visit in your way to make progress in that regard and again to honor all of you who have felt the pain of domestic violence and use that pain for public good, thank you!  We pray for your families to recover from all of that but we’re also grateful for your leadership and your courage.

Thank you to all the brides!

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