Yesterday I attended my first-ever Denim Day event in Downtown Los Angeles, part of the Peace Over Violence movement. It was a turning point for me in having my voice heard about the violence my mother suffered at the hands of my father, Mike Rinder, and how we must stop rewarding abusers.
I arrived and saw so many others carrying banners, signs and messages of their own to end abuse. I instantly felt like I was with people who cared, and who cared about me and what I had to say. It was as if every person addressing the crowd was speaking directly to me. Each had their message and their own inspiring stories of how they use art, poetry and position to help abused women gain a voice. We won’t be silent any longer.
After the speakers finished we met with them. There I was on the LA City Hall steps with tons of likeminded supporters and women I admire. We were sharing our stories. I also met with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and thanked him for what he is doing to support women. He was gracious and listened to me, taking my information.
Seeing all the important speakers throughout the event was so empowering for me. I was excited to meet Patti Giggans, who is the Executive Director of Peace Over Violence. She is so down to earth. She listened to me and asked me to stay in touch and to contact her again. She wanted to hear what I had to say. She even stopped to introduce me to a fellow advocate. She didn’t forget me. She genuinely cared, heard me and wanted to help.
We met with Maya and Aloe to record our own chant of their message, and congratulated Yesika Salgado for her powerful poem. Everyone treated me with respect and understood my concerns about domestic abuse were important. I was touched to find so many people willing to listen and help. The amount of support I got overwhelmed me.
I now have a voice along with a group of sympathetic friends to help me get heard. We ended the day having networked with many allies, enlisting support from so many good people who care. Everywhere I turned there was someone else cheering me on and encouraging me to stay strong carrying the banner in the name of Justice4mom.
I also want to thank my brave friends who came with me to show their support for being strong and helping me in the right to get justice for my mom. Thank you, Emma, Diana, Angela, Celina, Sochi and my team.
Finally, I want to profusely thank everyone who organized the event, every single speaker and lastly to all women who stand with me to end abuse. Many, many thanks.