As many of you know, I am the Executive Director of The Alliance. You may also know that I am not good at athletic activities. Let's just say I'm much better at raising money to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence than I am at riding a mountain bike. We all have our skills.
But, I'm going to do it anyway because nothing about surviving domestic or sexual violence is easy. We all know the old adage "Why doesn't she just leave?" doesn't even come close to addressing the enormous challenges that survivors face when trying to move beyond abuse. Imagine being someone who is experiencing domestic abuse - you want to leave, but where will you go? Suddenly, you've gone from two incomes to one and are trying to find a safe, sustainable place for you, your children, and your pets to live...all in Chaffee County's extraordinarily competitive and expensive housing market. Not to mention the myriad of physical, emotional, and mental health struggles that come along with experiencing domestic and sexual violence. After running into one barrier after another, going back and enduring abuse doesn't just seem like an acceptable option, it seems like the only option.
At The Alliance, we empower individuals experiencing sexual and domestic violence by showing them that they are strong and powerful enough to overcome those barriers. Through safety planning, emotional support, legal and housing assistance, and advocacy, we combat the messages that many survivors have heard from their abusers - that they're stupid, useless, weak, and that nobody will believe them or help them. We remind survivors that they can be just that - survivors strong enough to overcome it all.
So, if they can do that, I can certainly haul my chubby, uncoordinated butt over the Crest trail and raise some money while I'm at it. I hope you'll think of the survivors who need you as you read this, and that you'll find a few dollars to contribute to their success.