I’ve been advocating against domestic violence since 2015, a cause close to my heart due to the struggles I endured through childhood. In 2017, when my mom needed help leaving my abusive father, the local shelter, Friends Inc, went above and beyond to help her heal.
I started this #Running4Her challenge to not only thank Friends Inc. for their services to women and children within my community by raising money for them, but I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to bring awareness for this epidemic.
Domestic violence can take the form of physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. 5 million children are exposed to domestic violence per year, 85% of domestic violence victims are female, 2,141 women were murdered last year by a current or former partner (for comparison, 2,996 people died in the WTC – 9/11 attack), (See more statistics here or here)
What is Friends Inc?
Friends Inc., empowers and provides safety to those affected by domestic and sexual violence through support services and prevention education in Washington County. FRIENDS, Inc. provides those it serves with the means to live a violent free future.
Friends Inc., has been the sole provider of domestic abuse and sexual assault services in Washington County since 1978. Using trauma-informed services, staff provides survivor victim-centered emotional support and programs that help individuals and families lead non-violent independent living and develop healthy well-being well beyond program exit.
Friends Inc., services have steadily increased since 1978. Over the last decade they annually provided; 5,680 shelter nights to 100 individuals, responded to over 1,300 crisis calls, provided outreach services to 370 individuals (including 525 art therapy sessions with 75 children), and presented 250 prevention classes to 5,300 youth and adults.
I’ve always hated running but when life stressors started taking its toll on my physical and mental health, I slipped on a pair of sneakers and started jogging around my block. I’m in no way a good runner, I probably look like a newborn giraffe. I wanted to do this challenge last year, but shin splints, colds, and a death in the family made it a little difficult. This year, I’m ready.
My goal is to run 200 miles by October, the domestic violence awareness month. I do realize that a lot of runners can achieve my goal in a much shorter time, but I’m not a regular runner (plus, I’ve given myself enough time to work through any injuries and sick days). This is a huge challenge for me and I’m going to see to it that I finish. Follow my run here on my website, on Instagram, Facebook, and Washington County Insider.
Ways to Support
- Write a check payable to “Friends Inc.” (memo, #Running4Her) & mail to:
FRIENDS, Inc. PO Box 117 West Bend, WI 53095
- Donate via PayPal through the Friends Inc. website. (add #running4her to the note before submitting)
- Most shelters like Friends Inc rely on wish list fulfillment, like shampoo, clothes, diapers, and toilet paper. Click here see what there current need is. Wish List items may be dropped off at Salon Effervescence (55 E Sumner St, Hartford, WI 53027)
- Raise awareness of domestic violence by sharing #Running4Her on social media.
- Donate your time to Friends Inc. – Volunteer as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, babysitter, structured childcare, or grocery shopper. (if you are not in the area, click here to find a local women’s shelter closest to you)
- Join me in running! Log and share the hours run on your regular running route or treadmill. Feel free to raise money for Friends Inc. or the domestic violence charity of your choice.
What Will Your Friends Inc Donation Be Used For?
- $25 – Provides one hour of art therapy for a child who has been exposed to violence in their home.
- $50 – Provides a mental health or substance abuse assessment for one individual residing in shelter.
- $100 – Provides one night of safe shelter to a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
- $150 – Provides three advocacy sessions for an individual fleeing a violent relationship.
- $250 – Provides eight children with (2) one-hour art therapy support groups.
- $500 – Provides a class of twenty-five high school students with education about dating violence and building healthy relationships
- $1,000 – Provides rent assistance, case management, advocacy, and basic life skills training for a family of four enrolled in Friends Transitional Living Program.
Fundraising & Miles Tracker
My Miles Run: 60 out of 200
Total Team Miles: 37
Who I’m Running For
If you or someone you know has ever experienced abuse, I’d love to run for you/them. Submit first name and last initial information the form below and I’ll add it to this growing list…
Jamie S., Christina R., Diana S., Bobbie H., Melanie C., Ashley C., Emma B., Christina M., Tori N., Christina C., Lilly R., Jennifer D., Elizabeth B., Jackie C., Nicole D.’s. mom, Javada C., Rebecca B., Bernie B., Margaret S., Petra C., Laurie S., Hannah D., Ava M., Sabrina C., Ashley M., Julia M., Brittany R., Melissa R., Marissa C., Aimee D., Sandra T., Jennifer P., Jessica G., Adeena B., Katherine M., Brittani G., Tomass L., Bonnie T., Ellie D., Leora N., Annalia B., Alexis K., Courtney C., Pamla M., Raquelle S., Courtney F., Stephanie H., Karen B., Stacey A., Cindy H., Aindrea N., Michael B., Zari L., Emily R., Lenora T., Diane G., Jacquelyn O., Georgia D., Kate J., Megan W., Tanya V., James O., Chelsey I., Kelly A., Judi R., Shelby S., Suzanne W., Samira J., Gabrielle R., Sarah D., Jamie S., Kassandra B., Stephanie A., Lori W., Melissa M., Kathy O., Danielle L., Tosha I., Sierra H.,