Survivor shares message of strength: Domestic violence is preventable

Lace up for the Refuse to Abuse 5k, July 21 at Safeco Stadium

As a 19-year-old single mom of a young son, Julia heard repeatedly that she was “limiting herself” and would “never find a husband.” With those messages taken to heart, when she met a man who seemed relationship material, she embraced the opportunity.

What that meant was an isolated home in rural Washington with a man whose personality quickly changed once they were away from her family and friends. After “28 days of hell,” Julia had the personal strength and family support to free herself from the situation. Once he began turning his anger toward her son, “I knew I had to get out, and had to get out right away,” she says.

“When he went to work the next morning, I packed up everything I could carry and walked the 45 minutes to call my sister.”

Refuse To Abuse

Through the healing that followed, Julia committed herself to supporting others in similar situations and preventing domestic violence, through events like July 21’s Refuse To Abuse 5k, a joint event from the Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“This is how I can give back for the support I received from family, friends and my community,” Julia reflects, sharing a message of strength with women and men who might find themselves in a similar situation. “It’s important to build a sense of self-worth. You don’t need someone ‘to complete you,’ as the movie says. It’s OK to be who you are.”

Today, Julia is a happy, healthy grandmother of four amazing grandchildren. Looking forward to her sixth annual Refuse To Abuse 5K – a unique run/walk through every level of Safeco Field, from the players’ tunnel to the final lap around the field – Julia aims to raise $5,000 to support the Coalition’s work to engage teens and young people about healthy relationships, promote better laws, and create programming for survivors of abuse.

Alongside fundraising – Julia was third in individual fundraising last year! – she reflects on connections that happen each year.

“You’re at this event with people sharing their experiences – it’s part of the healing. It’s powerful,” she says, commending WSCADV for providing information and resources supporting a world without domestic violence, and tools to speak with children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews about healthy relationships.

Domestic Violence is Preventable

“The more people talk about domestic violence, the more we’ll share the message that it is preventable,” says Kelly Starr, WSCADV Director of Public Affairs, noting that 43 per cent of Washington women and 28 per cent of men have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

To find the domestic violence program in your community, visit wscadv.org or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800- 787-3224 (TTY).

Register today for the Refuse To Abuse 5K at refusetoabuse5k.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Marketplace

Former Bellevue Football assistant head coach publishes his side of the story

A national championship, 12 state championships and many investigations

This pediatrician’s #1 rule? ‘Never rush a case’

Bothell doctor saves lives with ‘Well Visits’ that assess patients when they seem healthy

Show Grand Ridge Plaza What You Got this summer for a chance to win great prizes from GRP merchants! From Aug. 24 to Sept. 6 if you post a photo to Instagram featuring beauty and style at Grand Ridge Plaza (and use the hashtags #Style and #ShowGRPWhatYouGot ) you’ll be entered to win.
                                Setting a wellness goal for the second half of 2020? Grand Ridge Plaza has a range of health and fitness professionals to get you on the right track.
Feeling stressed? Treat yourself to a spa escape, right here in Issaquah!

Grand Ridge Plaza has plenty of beauty + style options to help you rejuvenate

Your neighborhood one-stop-shop for family fun!

Snap some photos of your afternoon at Grand Ridge Plaza for a chance to win

Cool ice cream, hot Thai or breezy cocktails… How does your summer taste?

Show Grand Ridge Plaza what you’re eating this summer for a chance to win awesome prizes!

Reprioritizing wellness? Explore the options here!

Issaquah’s one-stop-shop for fitness, health and full-body therapy

Fresh flavors, authentic recipes, from the Zio Sal family to yours

Dine-in or take out your favorite Italian dishes today, from Redmond!

Fresh flavors, authentic recipes, from the Zio Sal family to yours

Dine-in or take out your favorite Italian dishes today, from Redmond!

Fresh flavors, authentic recipes, from the Zio Sal family to yours

Dine-in or take out your favorite Italian dishes today, from Redmond!

Fresh flavors, authentic recipes, from the Zio Sal family to yours

Dine-in or take out your favorite Italian dishes today, from Redmond!

United Way seeks support for King County residents during COVID-19

Because of the current pandemic and economic fallout, the needs of the… Continue reading

Zsofia Pasztor, founder of Woodinville-based non-profit Farmer Frog, is a certified horticulturist, arborist and landscape designer who helps build community and family gardens, starting from a foundation of Cedar Grove soil and compost.
Family gardening can be fun and fruitful!

Cedar Grove soils can help you get the most out of your home planting season