Domestic violence program pins hopes on Viera 5K

Winning runners beam with the medals they earned at last year’s Run Domestic Violence Out of Brevard 5K, which returns Feb. 20 to Viera.

The pandemic has not been kind to families experiencing domestic violence.

“It has made things worse for victims, who are stuck at home with the perpetrators, because they are working from home or may have lost their jobs,” said Cindy Mitchell, the director of the Salvation Army Domestic Violence Program.

Domestic violence is not about anger, but rather about control, explains Mitchell. Perpetrators enjoy the benefits of having control over partners and children.

Mitchell’s agency provides a secure shelter and support for victims, as well as advocacy services and community education. However, the organization, like the victims it serves, has suffered because of COVID. Funding and fundraisers dried up last year, which makes its upcoming Run Domestic Violence Out of Brevard 5K that much more important.

The race begins at 8 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Lake Pavilion of Viera Regional Park, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, and winds its way up Stadium Parkway, Veterans Way and Breslay Drive before returning to the starting point.

Advance registration through Feb. 7 is $25 for adults and $20 for children 12 and younger as well as for teams of five or more runners. The fee after Feb. 7 is $30 for adults and $25 for kids and teams. A virtual 5K option is $30, with a $5 discount if the race packet is picked up at Running Zone. A race shirt is guaranteed for registrations by Feb. 7. The event includes an after-party with music and refreshments.

In addition to money, the race raises awareness of the availability of services by including the hotline for the 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline (321-631-2764) in the race flyer.

“It makes it easier for businesses to put the information out there,” Mitchell said.

The program, which serves the entire county, provided temporary shelter to 257 women and children last year.

To help Run Domestic Violence Out of Brevard, register for the 5K at secure.runningzone.com.