Run brings awareness to domestic violence

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October is domestic violence awareness month. On Saturday, Oct. 12 Salvation’s Gate, an organization to bring awareness to domestic violence, hosted its fourth annual 5K/10K run at Belle Isle Park in Detroit.

The event is called Freedom to Soar: Rising Above Domestic Violence. The money raised goes back to Salvation’s Gate to support its efforts in ending domestic violence.

Alisa Clemons is the founder and president of Salvation’s Gate and organized the 5K/10K event. She is a survivor herself.

“The whole purpose of the event is to bring awareness of domestic violence and we have different organizations that help women and children that are involved,” Clemons said.

Tables were set up at the event to offer resources to those affected by domestic violence.

“If you need help we have resources here today that can give you advice on how to get help, anything that you need to make your life better,” event volunteer Mary Evans said. 

Clemons said that Salvation’s Gate can’t do this event alone and they collaborate with other organizations to make this run a success.

“It takes so many of us working together to end domestic violence and bring awareness to the community,” Clemons said.

Participants tried to stay warm as they signed in and received their bib numbers and t-shirts.

“It’s a really well orchestrated run and it’s obviously for a very good cause,” participant Elizabeth Scussel said.

Scussel has participated in this run for the past three years. In 2018 she was the first female finisher, which motivated her to come back and do it again this year.

The event doesn’t have as big of a turnout as Clemons would like, but some of the runners like that it’s small enough to not be overwhelming.

The event competes with other runs in the month of October that support breast cancer awareness, which explains why it doesn’t have a ton of participants, Clemons said.

On their website Salvation’s Gate offers access to resources, volunteer opportunities and events that people can get involved in to help end domestic violence. 

“We need to make people aware of the month being here to commemorate and allow people to see how important domestic violence is and how many women and children have been affected,” Clemons said.

Those involved understand the importance of bringing awareness to domestic violence.

“We’re here to support so they know there is a way out,” Evans said.

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