The Seattle Mariners will host the twelfth annual Refuse To Abuse® 5K next week as they celebrate an incredible 27 years of partnership with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV). The 5K run/walk builds on the success of the Refuse To Abuse® violence prevention campaign, launched in the 1990’s to take a public stand against domestic violence and promote healthy, respectful relationships. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, June 4th at T-Mobile Park, and runners and walkers will have access to every level of the ballpark, from the view deck to the players’ tunnel to the final lap around the field.
WSCADV’s research on domestic violence fatalities found that nearly all (92%) of the victims in homicides studied reached out to family and friends for help before their death. Victims turned to these informal support systems earlier and more often than the police (52%) or the courts for a Protection Order (31%). WSCADV’s recently published Friends & Family Guide provides guidance on how to help a loved one who is experiencing abuse.
“Domestic violence is 100% preventable. We learned a lot during the pandemic about the power of connection and how friends and family can be a lifeline to someone in an abusive relationship,” said Judy Chen, Executive Director of WSCADV. “This event celebrates the resilience of survivors, the power of community, and communicates to everyone experiencing abuse that you are not alone. We’re incredibly grateful to the Seattle Mariners, their fans, and our supporters for coming together each year to be a part of the solution.”
Many of this year’s participants are also fundraising for the cause. Every dollar raised supports WSCADV’s statewide prevention work, including the development of concrete tools to help start conversations with young people about healthy relationships, policy advocacy on behalf of survivors of abuse, and programming to prevent future violence.