'Can't sweep it under the rug.'
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DOWNTOWN — It’s a problem many victims won’t even talk about — but Sunday’s march over the Brooklyn Bridge and after-party in Cadman Plaza Park brought the issue of domestic violence out into the bright sunshine.
Milagros Day Worldwide, whose featured Mother's Day event took place here, celebrated those who have overcome domestic violence while having a good time.
“The message is, let’s talk about it,” said Farah Zulaikha, the event’s host and master of ceremonies. “You can’t sweep it under the rug. You need to recognize the problem of domestic violence. In certain ethnic cultures, it’s something that people accept way too easily. The horror people should feel just isn’t there.
“Some might say, ‘Why didn’t she just get up and go?’ It’s not that simple,” Zulaikha said, adding, “Men, women, even pets get abused.”
Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park) told the multi-cultural gathering, “Remember, domestic violence doesn’t have a race, ethnicity or social-economic level. It happens to everybody across the city and state, and it destroys families.”
The audience danced in the warm sun on the artificial turf in Cadman Plaza Park as the entertainers took to the stage. The impressive lineup included Pablito Drum with DJ Ophar, CnC Music Factory Scarlet Santana, The Hip Hop Conservancy, Pauline Jean, Natascha Bessez, Haley Brawner, Kanutto Garabatto, Andre Marcel and more.
Milagros Day Worldwide is an organization that advocates for victims, provides classes, and also sponsors a free, three-day camp to reeducate domestic violence survivors.
Dawn Diaz, the founder of Milagros Day, named it after her mother, Carmen Milagros Lugo, whom she watched being repeatedly being abused when she was growing up.