EVENT DATE: Jul 18, 2015
This is the 3rd year my family has particitpated in this event. Each year our team grows and grows. We proudly run (and walk) in honor of those who's lives are forever changed by domestic violence and abuse. Please help support the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, to help provide resources, support and education to our communities.
~ PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ OUR STORY BELOW (click on see more). 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 many it is physical. For so many others it is psychological & emotional, control & manipulation. In any way, shape or form it is wrong, it is inhumane, it is destructive.
How do we stop it? How do we fix it?
We EDUCATE. We TEACH. We LISTEN. We STOP THE CYCLE.
My children and I 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. I thought I could fix it.
We are now going on 5 years free from our abuser. It was not easy. I wish I could tell everyone it was. It was a difficult struggle to get where we are today. I spent countless hours I had to learn how to live again. I had to learn how to be me, how to be a mom again. On new terms, in a healthy life and with a healthy family. And at times it feels like we will always be living in that shadow. But we choose to keep moving forward. What we have learned 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. I am so proud of my children and how they have risen above their abusive past and not allowed it to define who they are, but rather fuel them to set goals and be successful in school, sports, friendships and relationships. We are laughing again. We are free.
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! I have watched programs come into our local schools and talk about healthy dating and relationships. They are planting seeds in these youth and that is how we raise up a generation that will change and save lives.
Part of my recovery and healing process has been to become healthy on all levels. Physically, emotionally, spiritually & mentally. A few years ago I began running and I fell in love with the freedom and strength it gave me. I decided to set a goal to run a 5K that 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. My first year participating, 3 of my children ran with me. The next year our team expanded to 6. This year I will have 5 of my children and family and friends joining in. I cannot tell you how amazing this is for me, how proud I am especially 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. As, we as a FAMILY, take a united stand and support for every person who has ever felt the pain our family once felt.
For 15 years I held my breath, just praying to get through each day. For the past 5 years I have been free, but I had to fight to learn how to breathe again. Now I am breathing life to the fullest. We have once again created a team of amazing ANGELS who will be there on July 18th 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, man, or family will not have to go through what my family went through, then it is worth every step and every breath 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. How awesome it would be if we can expand to have 17 Angels running/walking with our team this year. You can register at www.refusetoabuse5k.org Just select Team Registration, then scroll down to select Team "17 Angels" in the Team Field.
If you would rather donate you time to help us fundraise instead of participating in the 5K feel free to share or direct others to this fundraising site at www.crowdrise.com/refusetoabuse2015sup/fundraiser/17angels
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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