HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a string of recnt violent attacks against women, hundreds of men rallied in Honolulu on Thursday to end domestic violence.
Every year, the Domestic Violence Action Center says 50,000 women between the ages of 18 and 64 are victims of domestic violence.
The men who helped organize the 25th annual Men's March Against Violence say domestic violence is not just a women's issue, it's a significant community concern.
"Most of the perpetrators are guys, so as guys we need to raise our voice against domestic violence," said David Tumilowicz, vice president of communications and marketing at Kaiser Permanente.
“A day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear about some sort of terrible story, tragedy, related to domestic violence.”
The event began with a remembrance ceremony, honoring nine victims of domestic violence who lost their lives in Hawaii this year.
“We got to do the right thing,” said first-time participant Roel DeJesus. “It’s the difference between what’s right and what’s easy. To take that one step, to just take a breath, is all the difference.”
The march started at Iolani Palace, continued through downtown Honolulu, past the State Capitol, and ended with a rally at the palace grounds.
Jarvis Natividad, a senior at Damien Memorial School, says it's important for young men his age to have good, positive role models.
"I'm in that transition from a teenager to adulthood, so I just want to be the best example I can to be non-violent," said Natividad.
Survivors of domestic violence say it's critical that there are programs and services available out there for women who need help.
"I was able to get the help and resources I needed to work through ending my relationship and finding a safe place for my daughters and myself," said survivor Melenani Waialae.
Nanci Kreidman, CEO of DVAC, says there also needs to be more understanding and collaboration with law enforcement, the courts, and elected officials to keep Hawaii's families safe.
“I think there’s a complacency that has set in, like oh we handled that in the 90′s. But think back on the last two weeks. We have seen many incidents, grave incidents of domestic violence. As a community, we can prioritize the problem of domestic violence,” Kreidman said.