While the Seattle Mariners are on the road in Kansas City on July 9, 1,500 runners and walkers from around the country will fill Safeco Field for the Goodwill Refuse To Abuse® 5K. Chaired by King 5's host of New Day NW, Margaret Larson, this unique event is the only 5K that uses Safeco Field as its course. Participants will have access to every level of the ballpark, from the view deck to the players' tunnel to the final lap around the field. The event builds on a 20-year partnership between the Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) on the Refuse To Abuse® violence prevention campaign.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 43% of women and 28% of men in Washington State have experienced physical violence, rape, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. One in three teens report that they have experienced some kind of abuse in their dating relationship. Research conducted by the Washington State Domestic Violence Fatality Review found that teens are not getting the critical information they need about dating violence, including information about what a healthy relationship looks like and practical tips on what to do if someone is abusing them.
Refuse To Abuse® is not only a public stand against domestic violence, it helps raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue and gives community members a way to get involved. "Domestic violence is 100% preventable," said Nan Stoops, Executive Director of WSCADV. "We are so appreciative of how the Seattle Mariners, their fans, and our supporters have come together each year at this event to support healthy relationships. Together we are building respect and hope in our community."
While fundraising is not required of participants, many are doing so to support WSCADV's violence prevention efforts across the state, including work with teens and youth engagement. Over $105,000 has already been raised this year, bringing the 5-year total to over $450,000.
Every 5K participant will receive a race shirt, finisher's medal, information on how to help a friend who is in an abusive relationship, and How's Your Relationship? Conversation Cards with tips on how to talk to someone who is using abusive behavior towards their partner.
In addition to the generous support of the Seattle Mariners through the team's non-profit foundation Mariners Care, event sponsors include title sponsor Seattle Goodwill and support from Sound Publishing, Council 28 AFSCME Washington Federation of State Employees, and Brooks Running.