Out of the Darkness 5K Run Oct. 27 for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Kimberly Blea, HU-CARES director

Kimberly Blea, HU-CARES director

Las Vegas, N.M. – Las Vegas runners have a chance to lace up their sneakers to support Domestic Violence Awareness Month at Highlands University’s “Out of the Darkness” 5K run Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the university’s Gene Torres Golf Course.

The golf course is at Country Club Drive and Mills Avenue in Las Vegas.

The university’s HU-CARES (Center for Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support) program is sponsoring the run. The entry fee for the 5K is one can of nonperishable food to support Highlands University’s new food bank for students. Prizes like glow gear will be provided along with refreshments.

“This year HU-CARES is teaming up with the Tri-County Family Justice Center, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and our Highlands Student Senate to promote our “Out of the Darkness” run,” said Kimberly Blea, HU-CARES director. “Domestic violence thrives when we are silent, but if we take a stand and work together we can end domestic violence.”

Highlands University students who need transportation to and from the Gene Torres Golf Course may meet at the north side of the university’s Student Union Building at 5 p.m.

Blea said there are many misperceptions about domestic violence.

“One of the greatest misperceptions is that domestic violence is only physical abuse like being hit or pushed. We strive to shine a light on other forms of abuse that happen frequently, like excessive control, manipulation and jealously.

“One of the most important ways we can combat domestic violence is by teaching how to have healthy relationships. Our HU-CARES program focuses on preventing domestic violence through education,” Blea said.

Blea said that on college campuses, statistics show that nearly half of college women report experiencing abusive dating behaviors.

“Nationally we are seeing an increase in digital abuse that happens through using GPS to monitor a partner’s behavior, delivering threatening texts, and monitoring social media. Digital abuse is prevalent in college populations. We work to teach students how to prevent digital abuse,” Blea said.

Blea said the national statistics on domestic violence are troubling.

“According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in the U.S. an average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. We need to work together as a community to decrease these numbers,” Blea said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every four American women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, with an estimated 1.3 million women physically assaulted each year by an intimate partner. While an estimated 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women, approximately 15 percent are men.

For more information about the “Out of the Darkness” 5K run call 505-454-3529 or visit HU-CARES on Facebook at HU-CARES.

HU-CARES provides free confidential support services for Highlands University students. The office is on the third floor of the Student Union Building, Room 306. Call 505-454-3529.

The Tri-County Family Justice Center provides domestic violence services including counseling, advocacy, legal aid, and more. Call 505-718-7300.

The toll-free number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.