DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS – [VIDEO]
By Christine Corrado
Story Published: Oct 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM MDT
Story Updated: Oct 5, 2012 at 7:30 AM MDT
BILLINGS – October is domestic violence awareness month and the Domestic Violence Abuse Awareness Society (DVAAS) is asking the community to participate in “Running Out of Silence,” a fun run taking place on Saturday to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Jamie Schoonover is the founder of DVAAS and she’s a survivor of domestic violence. She encourages all community members to support the cause.
“I lost my home, I lost everything because of it. Luckily I was strong enough to get out when I did and start my life over again but there’s a lot of people that don’t know and that’s why we’re here, we want to raise that awareness and get people to know where to go.”
The run is affiliated with the YWCA and the Gateway House in Billings. Erin Lambert is the Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Services Program Manager at the Gateway House who talks about what women learn when they come and seek shelter.
“We see it sort of like riding a bicycle, that every time they come here, they are going to learn something about how to keep themselves safe and hopefully build their self esteem. And realize that there’s no excuse for violence and they don’t have to put up with it. And eventually they’ll have enough cumulative knowledge that they’re going to be able to leave that relationship for good. And, break that cycle of violence.”
Lambert says the Gateway House is welcome to anyone facing domestic abuse.
“We really want to help them build their tool kit. As far as learning how to use public transportation if they don’t have a vehicle, learning how to get an apartment and how to apply for a job, so they can have those supports in place, so they can live independently, that they don’t need someone else to support them.”
Both women emphasize how important it is to get the word out about domestic abuse. The “Running Out of Silence” fundraiser will also feature a silent auction, face painting for kids, games, and a live band.
Courtesy of kulr-8 – http://www.kulr8.com/news/local/Domestic-Violence-Awareness-172744641.html