Revere candlelight vigil brings awareness to domestic violence

A sign raising awareness about domestic violence is held by Ife Franklin of HarborCOV during the vigil for Vanessa MacCormack on Friday. (Spenser R. Hasak)

REVERE — A candlelight vigil to bring awareness to domestic violence was held at Revere City Hall in the wake of the violent murder of a Revere mom and Lynn teacher.

Vanessa MacCormack, 30, a Revere mom and Lynn school teacher, was found dead in her Grand View Avenue home last Saturday shortly after 3:30 p.m. She suffered from trauma injuries to her face and head, asphyxiation by strangulation, stab and slash wounds to her neck, and chemical burns. Her husband, Andrew MacCormack, 29, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court Wednesday and charged with the murder.

“When a tragedy like this occurs, it too often feels like an isolated incident that nobody saw coming,” said Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo. “The truth it, it’s anything but isolated.”

According to Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, there have been 27 domestic violence-related deaths across the state in the past nine months.

Arrigo called MacCormack’s homicide a “reminder that domestic violence is an epidemic in our society,” which he called on everyone to do their part to prevent.

“We stand in solidarity with Vanessa’s loved ones and remind ourselves of that responsibility,” he said.”If today’s vigil can convince one person, just one, to speak out, to seek help, it will save a life in memory of Vanessa and in honor of Vanessa.”

Russell Pacewicz of Lynn held up an edition of The Item from the day after MacCormack’s death. He said he and his family have been friends with MacCormack’s side of the family, the Masucci family, for more than two decades.

MacCormack and his daughter, Victoria Waldren of Revere, remained close friends over the years.

“I’m here to stand with Vanessa and against domestic violence,” Pacewicz said. “She’s loved and it’s shown here. It affects a lot of people and both sides of the family — the victim’s side and the suspect’s side.”

To his knowledge, MacCormack never showed signs of domestic abuse, though he said he didn’t spend as much time with her as an adult as he did when she was a child.

“My daughter is a close friend and she was shocked,” said Pacewicz. “It hurts my heart that this happened. A young life was lost. I want to be one more person to stand up against it.”

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo echoed his sentiment.

“I am sad, I am frustrated, I am angry,” said DeLeo. “I think about a beautiful member of our community taken much too soon and a 1-year-old that will be without a mother. Let us today unite against violence.”

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