Story by: Cheryl Kravitz
For immediate release: The Montgomery County Justice Center Foundation’s first ever Virtual 11k runs through October 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT. “There is still time to participate.” noted Executive Director Resa Levy. “The real Finish Line comes when domestic violence ends. Your support is paving the way towards ending the reign of terror of domestic violence.” Ms. Levy lauded the work of the Walk Committee and its chair, Catherine Albornoz, for their commitment to the event. Individuals and teams have signed up to participate, and local businesses have contributed funds as sponsors.
Participants can walk, run or stroll 11k (6.835 miles) any time, any place. Cost is $35.00 plus a $3.00 signup fee. The virtual 11K has a goal of raising $25,000 from individuals and teams and $50,000 through business sponsorships. Link to the website is: https://runsignup.com/Race/MD/YourTown/VirtualFJC11k. Hashtag for the 11K is #MoCoFJC11K.
The horror of domestic violence impacts victims throughout the world. In Montgomery County, help is available through the Family Justice Center (FJC), beneficiary of funds from the 11K. “No one deserves to be mistreated or abused,” said Tom Manion, Executive Director of the Center. “If you find yourself feeling unsafe at home, I want you to know that you are not alone and that the Family Justice Center is here to help you. Give us a call and let’s talk about your safety, what options you have, and how we can help.”
He said that transportation is available for those who need it. Hours of the Center are Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. The phone number is 240-773-0444 and a person needing help can walk-in. The address is 600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 500 in Rockville, MD.
One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Since its opening in 2009, the FJC has served more than 13,000 people from 100 countries of origin; last year, FJC offered help to County residents in 20 different languages.
Many young people are also suffering from dating abuse. The FJC is committed to bringing awareness to the County’s youth population. One in three females and one in seven males report experiencing teen dating violence, one in 10 Maryland high school students report experiencing physical violence in a dating relationship, and one in 10 report experiencing sexual dating violence in a dating relationship. Smita Varia, Program Manager of the FJC, noted that programs for teens include:
Expect Respect: Collaborating with MCPS to create videos that will be uploaded to the MCPS platform for students to watch.
Programs for Athletes: Working with MCPS athletics to see how Coaching Boys into Men and Athletes as Leaders can be implemented virtually.
Choose Respect Video Contest: The Video Contest has been launched and the deadline is March 1, 2021. https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/fjc/chooserespect/video.html.
RespectFest: This event will take place when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the FJC is continuing to utilize the Choose Respect social media accounts to send messages about dating violence prevention.
Further information about the Family Justice Center Foundation can be found on its website, https://mcfjcfoundation.org/