EVENT: REFUSE TO ABUSE 5K 2014
EVENT DATE: Jul 19, 2014
~ PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ OUR STORY. THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING SO MANY FAMILIES TODAY ~
Domestic violence and abuse is a silent killer. For so many, it hides behind closed doors. It hides behind the fake smiles. It hides behind the put together home or the seemingling happy family. It hides behind that family cheering at the baseball game. Once it pulls you in it won't let you out. Your life becomes a lie. You pretend. You hope no one notices. You rationalize. You justify. You make excuses. Your reasons always start with "Yes, he did this or that" and end with " ...BUT". For some it is physical. For so many it is psychological & emotional, control & manipulation. In any way, shape or form it is wrong.
How do we stop it? How do we fix it?
We EDUCATE. We TEACH. We LISTEN. We STOP THE CYCLE.
I survived domestic abuse. My children survived domestic abuse. We were lucky. We got a break, a miracle, that most families do not get. The scary part was that even though I knew what was going on was wrong, I would not admit that it was domestic violence. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to speak up. I thought I could control it.
Now nearly 4 years free from our abuser, my children and I are living. Laughing. Free. It was a difficult struggle to get where we are today. And at times it feels like we will always be living in that shadow. But we choose to keep moving forward. What we are learning as a family now is how to treat each other with respect. How to deal with anger. How to lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.
It is my goal, my prayer as a mother that my children grow up knowing what healthy relationships are. What the warning signs of unhealthy relationships are. To have a voice and not be afraid to speak up. How to be a loving supportive partner and parent. The cycle of abuse is stopping here. PERIOD!
Part of my recovery and healing process has been to become healthy on all levels. Physically, emotionally, spiritually & mentally. A couple years ago I began running and I fell in love with it. I decided to set a goal to run my first 5K last summer. When looking for an event to participate in, I came across the 2013 REFUSE TO ABUSE 5k in Seattle. Immediatley I knew this was the one! It was the most perfect & symbolic way for me to leave my abusive past behind and embrace to new life I have been given. When I told the kids I was going to do this, all 3 of the older ones immediatley wanted to join me. I cannot tell you how amazing this was for me, how proud I am of my kids, and how much it means to have them by my side (or more likely waiting for me at the finish line, because I am sure they can run laps around me) as I accomplished a goal that the "old" me would never have done.
For 15 years I held my breath, just praying to get through each day. For the past 4 years I have been free, but I had to fight to learn how to breathe again. Now I am breathing life to the fullest. This year, not only will 4 of my children be joining me, but my family and friends will be by our side as well. We have created a team of amazing Angels who will be there to support education, awareness and assistance to the WASHINGTON STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. If this small effort can help raise awareness so that just one child, woman, family will not have to go through what my family went through, then it is worth every step we take in this event.
Please help us raise money for this so important cause. We are Team 17 Angels. Our goal is to raise $3117. We can do this! You can help make a difference!
Donate. Spread the word. Facebook us. Twitter us. Whatever you can do. If you want to join us in running/walking the 5k, we would love to have you as part of our team. You can register at www.refusetoabuse5k.org. Just select Team Registration, then select Team "17 Angels" in the Team Field.
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Use this link to direct people to our fundraising page:
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Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence - www.wscadv.org
Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-562-6025
Crisis Line - 1-800-584-3578