A 5K purple run to end domestic violence will be held Saturday, Nov. 13 at 8 a.m. at Cate Square Park in Hammond.
Local resident Jeanine Saucier organized the run/ walk event to raise awareness of domestic violence in Hammond and Tangipahoa Parish, as well as to help raise funds for Southeast Advocates for Family Empowerment. Instead of registration fees for the 5K, donations are being accepted to benefit SAFE. Attire is purple.
While inviting the public to attend this inaugural run, Saucier explained about the inspiration behind today's event earlier this week during the Hammond City Council meeting.
Her good friend, Heidi Hamel Davis, was killed three weeks ago by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide related to domestic violence.
Davis, 34, of Hammond, was a mother of two who worked as a nurse at North Oaks Hospital.
"The series of events is difficult to wrap my head around," Saucier said. "The thoughts that started spinning in my head all circled around why, what could I have done, how could I have helped."
Davis loved to run, and the 5K combines that love with the ability to advocate to end domestic violence and gain as much attention and economic support for SAFE, the area's only advocacy, Saucier explained.
"They (SAFE) have the tools, programs, people and knowhow to properly help men and women in domestic violence situations," she said.
Nnenna Minimah, executive director of SAFE, stressed that this run is about showing support in the community.
"Louisiana has stayed in the top 5 for domestic violence homicides for years, and it is something that can be prevented," Minimah said.
Everyone has been touched in some way by the ripple effect of domestic violence, she added.
SAFE is a non-profit domestic violence intervention and prevention agency that serves Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. For more information, visit safelouisiana.org. A free, safe, confidential 24-hour crisis line is available at (985)542-8384.