When David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, took the stage at the Dominican Republic’s Premios Soberano, he playfully introduced himself to an audience that’s likely more than familiar with his accomplishments. But he quickly turned the attention from himself by delivering a sobering message about the violence that many women in the DR face. Before announcing the nominees for Best Weekly Variety Show, Big Papi called for an end to the femicides that have plagued the Caribbean country. In the last 13 years, more than 1,200 women have been victims of this gender-based violence.

“David, the one before you, is a man who fought during every phase of his life. I had to face obstacles, conquer fears, and overcome adversity,” he said. “I know that in their homes, there are many women in this moment living through their own nightmares. This phenomenon of femicides in our society is going viral. They need to stop. We need to stop them. This must end. Remember that we’re killing the only being, after God, who gives us life… Women have the right to live life with respect, dignity, and tolerance. I invite all of you to raise your voices. Violence against women isn’t a game.”

Listen to his powerful speech below:

Advertisement