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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 5:40 am | Fair 46º


Supporters Take Steps to Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence at 5K Run/Walk for Love

Inaugural event at Goleta Beach raises $80,000 to benefit Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County

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Rainy skies couldn’t keep away more than 200 supporters who took a step to end domestic violence at the inaugural 5K Run/Walk for Love held at Goleta Beach benefiting Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County.

“One in four women is going to be in their lifetime a victim of domestic violence,” DVS Executive Director Charles Anderson said. “Getting the community together and bringing the community together to increase awareness is really important. We should be looking out for one another. And this happens not just to the women but to our children and our teens.”

The mission of DVS is to end the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence by providing prevention and intervention services and changing society’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to effect social change.

An early morning start for the run/walk was charged up by the Dos Pueblos Chargers drum line and cheerleaders, who got the crowd going followed by local fitness trainer and motivator Jenny Schatzle, who warmed up participants for the run and raised the energy level with her enthusiasm.

“The message I want everyone to hear and more importantly believe is that no one should experience domestic violence," she said, "and DVS gives people the support and opportunity to break free of those toxic relationships and rediscover they are awesome.”

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson stressed the importance of the efforts of DVS to raise awareness and the important steps of the runners and walkers at the event to help break the cycle of violence.

“It was looked at as a women’s problem. Well, it’s a societal problem,” Jackson told Noozhawk. “It’s a problem where our young children are role modeled by parents who need to have better relationships because it is a cycle of violence. Children see their parents and grown ups behave this way and they behave this way. So we need to break that cycle. And this organization here is so key in making that happen here in our community.”

Alexandra Tang’s family came out in force to let the world know that domestic violence can happen to anyone. The DVS Volunteer program is named after Tang, who was killed by her boyfriend.

UCSB’s Sigma Alpha Zeta sorority launched a Run for Love 5K in 2013 and also volunteered at the DVS Run for Love. Also volunteering for the run was the Alpha Chi Omega Delta Psi Chapter who purchased an iPad for DVS to run transactions during registration.

Adam Shive brought the entire group of youths from the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists of Santa Barbara to participate in the inaugural DVS run, and Stan Lowenberg, M.D., and EMT Cody Semleer manned a medical tent.

Maura Mitchell won first place in the race for women and Pepe Gonzalez won for men, while Laurie Tilson won first place for raising money for the Springtime team.

The event raised $80,000 benefiting DVS programs. 

DVS has provided confidential emergency shelters and a range of support services to victims of domestic violence since participating in the CETA-funded Violence in the Family project in 1977, and opened up its first emergency shelter in Santa Barbara that year followed by additional shelters in Lompoc and Santa Maria.

The emergency shelters provide a safe refuse for victims in crisis up to a duration of 45 days, and while in residence, clients receive a variety of comprehensive services, including individual counseling, food and clothing, and are provided with medical and legal advocacy, financial information and resources.

For women who have no place else to go and exceed the 45-day limit at the shelter, single women and women with children may enroll in the Second Stage transitional housing program that offers short-term residency in furnished one-bedroom apartments in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria for a period up to 18 months.

DVS is the only full-service nonprofit agency in Santa Barbara County focused solely on ending the cycle of domestic violence by providing confidential shelter to women and children, personal counseling and a 24-hour crisis hot line.

The DVS 24-hour Crisis Line provides trained DVS advocates who respond to domestic violence calls placed to 9-1-1 with law enforcement.

“It’s really important that we get together and say that we’re not going to accept this anymore,” Anderson said. “We’re going to come together, we’re going to band together, and we’re going to end this violence.”

For donation and giving information, visit the website by clicking here, or contact Marsha Marcoe at [email protected] or 805.963.4458.

Noozhawk contributing writer Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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