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If you didn’t know, the month of October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

And in addition to focusing on women and children, a national month-long writing campaign launched by the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young WomenEmotional Justice Unplugged, and the Free Marisa Now Mobilization Campaign, is focusing on the importance of engaging men in an issue which they have been largely absent from and silent about.

#31ForMarissa will do two things: first, bring to light the role of men in addressing violence, preventing it, and breaking down the societal structures that permit masculinity to be aligned with violence. Secondly, it’s a chance for all men to write in support of Marissa Alexander, the Florida mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot to scare off her abusive husband.

Today is Day 18 of the campaign and a brother named Jonathan decided to write about the hypocrisy and injustice towards Alexander…and women in general.

Check out his emotional letter:

“Dear Marissa” by Jonathon

“I’m mad. I’m mad at what you have endured. I’m mad someone tried to hurt you. I’m mad we live in a country that punished you for trying to defend yourself and your baby. I’m mad what happened to you echoes what happens to women around the country and world every single day.”

“I have seen how hard Black women fight. I know you deserve better. You deserve support. You deserve love. You deserve Justice…”

Read the rest here.

Here are some other powerful letters from the campaign:

Dear Marissa from James Wolf

“I wish I had the words to express my thoughts and feelings concerning your imprisonment. I can only say that it is a travesty that you ended up in prison for rightfully protecting yourself from an abusive husband who still walks free to do whatever he pleases”

“………….This man got into it with his wife, yet again. He cursed at her like he usually does right into their home. The woman yelled at him to leave her alone inside the trailer. They soon walked out, with him looking for and getting his baseball bat.  I decided to step in, unarmed. I got in his face and tried to calm him down once again, but he seemed to far gone in his rage as he cursed me out still holding the bat as if he’s prepared to swing.  It was the first time I stepped in to prevent a serious act of violence. I was tense and felt sick to my stomach, probably because it brought up memories of witnessing abuse growing up.”

Read the full letter here

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Dear Marissa from Jason

“….as far as a man goes, you were the closest to me in my time of pain and need. You only lived two doors down from my doorway of hell. The look you would so often give me, instead of a simple hello or nod, let me know you knew we couldn’t defend ourselves.”

“….. I often felt like a fool thinking tears would stop him or his blows to my mothers face. She was knocked to the floor more times than I care to remember. How often did you hear our cries? Was it hard listening to our struggles? Did you feel less of a man for never helping? These are questions I always wanted to ask you, but never would I. I’m not sure if you cared to learn our names. I guess its all better this way to get through your day not placing names to the faces of the broken.”

Read the full letter here.

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Dear Marissa from Mychal

“…..Marissa, you took a shot at violent misogyny. I don’t blame you for being armed against it. Then racist misogyny came to its defense and locked you away. I believe you shot that gun out of fear. I believe you wanted your freedom. I hate you felt that was the only option left. But I know that’s not your fault…..”

“We failed you, Marissa. We fail women like you every day. You wouldn’t have needed that gun if a man never put his hands on you, or the state believed your life was worth protecting, or the spectre of violence wasn’t our daily reality,………”

Read the full letter here.

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And to follow along with the #31ForMarissa campaign, visit: theSWAGspot tumblr

If you would like to contribute, send your letters here.

And don’t forget next week, Thursday, October 24th at 3 p.m. GlobalGrindNews & AlterNet – two of the #31forMARISSA media partners – will co-host a Twitter chat on domestic violence, men, masculinity, rage, silence, fear and creating change. This will be a provocative partnership creating an intergenerational conversation on men and domestic violence.

SOURCE: #31forMarissa

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