SALEM — Part of the mission at HAWC — Healing Abuse, Working for Change — is to allow people to talk openly about domestic violence and help them find the resources they need to heal.
This Sunday’s Run/Walk for HAWC at Salem Common is one of the most visible ways the more than 30-year-old nonprofit organization can raise awareness, while also raising money to further their goals of preventing further violence and assisting victims.
Last year about 1,500 walkers and runners showed up to support the cause and raised more than $125,000. It’s the organization’s largest fundraiser, and the goal this year is $130,000.
HAWC’s new executive director, Anthony DiPietro, says having that many people show up acts as a powerful symbol.
“We will stand up and try to end domestic violence,” DiPietro said.
The event, which has been held for more than two decades, is getting a boost from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is this year’s honorary chairwoman.
HAWC, she said in a prepared statement, “does important work serving all those who have been affected by domestic abuse on the North Shore. Domestic abuse is a terrible issue, and I’m proud to support HAWC’s efforts to put an end to violence and oppression.”
Founded in 1978, HAWC provides services and support to victims of domestic violence in 23 cities and towns on the North Shore.
The event provides a way for participants to send a message of celebration for those who have broken free from abuse, show support for those looking to do so, and honor those who have lost a loved one to domestic violence.
Both the run and the walk start at Salem Common this Sunday, rain or shine, and the festivities will also feature music, food and children’s activities.
For both runners and walkers, the course is a fast, flat 5-mile circuit through historic Salem, starting and ending at the Common. The race, which starts at 9 a.m., will have trophies in various age categories, with the overall male and female finishers receiving $150 in prize money. The walk begins at noon.