Posted by Christina Jedra February 12, 2013 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the HAWC:
HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change) is excited to announce Kayla Harrison, Judo Gold Medal Olympian, as the Honorary Chair of the Walk/Run for HAWCscheduled May 5th at the Salem Common. Over 1,500 supporters walk or run five miles through historic Salem, MA, making the Walk/Run the agency’s largest fundraising and community awareness building event. As the first American to win a judo gold medal, Kayla has used her celebrity and voice to empower victims of abuse.
“I am honored to walk with HAWC supporters so that I can bring hope to victims and remove any shame they may feel, so that they too, can achieve their personal goals.” Kayla Harrison, Judo Gold Medal Olympian
Last year, while preparing for the 2012 Olympics, Kaylaspokepublicly about her own experience of abuse by her childhood coach.Shortly after the abuse was revealed, she moved to Massachusetts. With the support of family, friends, and her amazing new coach Jimmy Pedro and his father, “Big Jim”,Kayla recognized her inner strength and focused on becoming the world’s best in her sport of Judo.During the 2012 London Summer Olympics she met her life time goal of winning a gold medal in judo. This victory had never been accomplished by an American man or woman.
Since she came out publicly about her abuse, many victims have disclosed their personal experiences to her. The Center for Disease Control reports 1 in 4 women will experience abuse in their lifetime. For the past thirty five years, HAWC has helped victims heal and thrive through free and confidential services.
Twenty one years ago, when Kayla was just 1 year of age, HAWC kicked off its first Walk for HAWC with 250 participants whobroughtawareness to the community. This year, 1,500 walkers and runners are expected. With their support, HAWC provides free and life saving services to over 3,000 victims of the North Shoreannually through: a 24 hour hotline, individual advocacy, support groups, legal advocacy, shelter and youth violence prevention programs, and community education.
To participate in the Walk/Run for HAWC or to learn more about HAWC or please visit the website at www.hawcdv.org. If you or someone you know is in need of HAWC services please contact the 24 hour hotline at 1 (800) 547-1649.