By Russel Navarrette
The familiar sound of defiant chants filled the air on campus on Oct. 3.
“Hey hey, ho ho, the patriarchy has got to go,” chanted the East Los Angeles College Women’s Center and the Sexual Assault Awareness Violence Education team during the 22nd annual Mujeres de Paz Domestic Awareness march.
Demonstrators gathered at the Kipp Iluminar Academy near the corner of Mednik Avenue and Cesar E Chavez Avenue.
People carried signs denouncing domestic violence and were given a pink sheet of paper that had the chants they were going to use like, “The people united will never be defeated! El pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido!”
The crowd marched, chanted and cheered down Cesar E Chavez Avenue to East Los Angeles College where they would end the march with a vigil to honor survivors and those who did not survive domestic violence.
One of the supporters heard of the march through Facebook and participated to honor his loved ones.
The march also brought two women together who recognized each other from prison. The two were bystanders at first, but ended up participating in the discourse.
Andrea Owens, SAAVE team co-chair and professor in the kinesiology department at ELAC, stated, “We have so many students and people on campus that have experienced domestic violence. Our role is to spread as much awareness as possible.”
Other members from the ELAWC that were in the march and vigil: Ruth Rivera, Rebeca Melendez, Arlene Torres, and founder of the SAAVE team in 2006 Marilyn Laad.
Barbara Kappus began the vigil with a moment of silence and an opening speech, “Every person is entitled to a piece of mind, a life free of violence. We are here to support you. peak up.”
There were also live performances of dance, music and people sharing their own personal experiences with domestic abuse.
ELAWC provides services for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault in the F5 building on the third floor.
They provide services such as crisis support, housing, parenting classes and other services.
Upcoming events for domestic violence awareness month include Thursday Oct. 17th, Loving with Consent: A conversation about safer sex and HIV prevention at F5-219 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. and Tuesday Oct. 22nd, Cycle of Domestic Violence and Ally Tips at F5-209 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.