9th Annual Becky’s Fund “Walk This Way” Charity Fashion Show Raises More than $200K
Tamron Hall, Ryan Zimmerman, Vernon Davis and more joined Becky’s Fund founder Becky Lee for an evening dedicated to ending domestic violence
Washington, D.C. (October 30, 2017) — On Friday night, domestic violence prevention nonprofit Becky’s Fund hosted its 9th annual “Walk This Way” charity fashion show at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. TV personality Tamron Hall served as emcee for the evening, which raised more than $200,000 towards the organization’s effort to end domestic abuse.
D.C.-based bespoke suit brand Brimble & Clark outfitted the region’s top pro athletes, including Redskins stars Vernon Davis and Chris Carter, D.C. United’s Steven Birnbaum, Kofi Opare and Sean Franklin, international goalie Bill Hamid, Washington Mystics player Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and former NFL stars Gary Clark and John Booty, among others. Female models, including WPGC’s Sunni and the City, Washington Spirits player Estelle Johnson and sports commentator Christy Winters-Scott dazzled in dresses by DiDomenico.
Walk This Way benefits the Becky’s Fund’s “Men of Code” program, an initiative devoted to engaging and educating coaches and young male athletes about becoming leaders and allies in the movement to end domestic violence.
With the heightened visibility of the #METOO campaign which has prompted women to come forward with their stories of assault and abuse, Becky’s Fund is doubling its efforts to teach young men and boys that no means no. Men of Code members from D.C.’s Ballou Senior High School varsity football team shared impactful and personal stories during the Walk This Way event and the funds raised during the evening will help bring the program to three new local schools in 2018.
With the help of event chair Mark Ellington and top sponsors Pruitt Foundation, JSON ARTS, Verizon, Dr. A. Brion Gardner, Alivia Franzone, Break Thru Beverage, Peroni, Samba Sol and more, guests were provided with exquisite masquerade masks to wear as an homage to the event’s theme and message: taking off the “mask” of domestic abuse everywhere.
ABOUT BECKY’S FUND:
Becky’s Fund is a nonprofit organization committed to the prevention of domestic violence by creating awareness, encouraging advocacy among peers, promoting activism through outreach programs and providing support for victims. www.BeckysFund.org.
For all media inquiries, including interview requests, high-resolution images and additional information, please contact Maha Hakki of MoKi Media at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.973.7075
Attached please find photos of the 9th annual Becky’s Fund Walk This Way charity fashion show for your editorial consideration. Photo credit is listed beneath each image.
October 11 is National Mental Health Awareness day, which happens to fall during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Due to this fact, it is important for us to understand the double stigma that affects women and men of all races, ages, genders and sexual orientation. Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence (IPV), doesn’t always involve sexual or physical abuse as there are many different forms of it such as psychological/emotional abuse and economic abuse. All these situations can include unwanted attention like stalking or harassment (CDC). Domestic violence is a major cause of mental illness in the United States and across the world (Campbell et al.,2006). In domestic violence cases, psychological effects such as depression and PTSD are influenced by severity, duration and type of abuse.
An adverse effect of domestic violence is the increase in the occurrence of clinical depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, also called PTSD (Anderson et al., 2003). In an article written about the co-occurrence of intimate partner violence + mental health diagnosis, it is shown that compared to women who have not experienced domestic violence, survivors have nearly doubled the risk for developing depressive symptoms. Survivors are three times more likely to develop major depressive disorder, while mothers who experience domestic violence are nearly twice as likely to develop postpartum depression (Beydoun et al., 2012;Cerulli et al., 2011). One study suggests that experiencing multiple forms of abuse can increase the odds for PTSD, depression and suicidality by 6-17 times (Houry et al., 2006).
Statistics from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey of 2010 show that 80% of women who experience rape, stalking or physical violence by an intimate partner had reported short-or-long term effects including PTSD. Women who have experienced domestic violence are three times as likely to meet the criteria for PTSD as those who had no kind of experience with domestic violence (Bonomi et al., 2009).In addition to PTSD and depression, evidence suggests that experiencing domestic violence increases the likelihood of developing other mental health conditions such as suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, anxiety/mood disorders, and substance abuse (Bundock et al., 2013;Ellsberg et al., 2008; Scheffer & Renck, 2008).
Not only does domestic violence affect the two partners directly involved, it affects the children who witness the abuse and fighting. Children tend to have poorer health when exposed to domestic violence which is linked to telomere shortening in their brains. Telomeres are at the tip of the chromosomes that hold DNA in their strands and are crucial in affecting how people age and get cancer. Domestic violence can increase the risk of mental health disorders in children that affect them well into adulthood. Issues with substance abuse, depression, anxiety and suicide are found also as a result of minimal family support, lack of parental involvement and isolation (Drury et al., 2014).
The stigma attached to being a victim of domestic violence is often enough to prevent one from reporting or calling the police.When one ties in factors of self-doubt and feelings of guilt, shame and self-blame, victims are plagued with questions such as, “Will anyone believe me?” “Why is this happening to me?” Victims tend to identify with statements like, “It’s my fault, I was asking for it when I bothered him/her”, after months and/or years with their abuser. As a society, we are becoming more aware due to the increased vocality of those affected but it is important to start talking about domestic violence and mental health to completely remove the stigma behind both of these issues.
Hello! My name is Rachab Abdie and I am excited to be working at Becky’s Fund as a new Student Intern. I’m from Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland and I go to Villanova University just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am majoring in Liberal Arts and am going to start graduate school at the University of Maryland in the Spring Semester. Next June, I plan to start the application process for medical school.
I have always wanted to be a part of an organization that really helps the community. Becky’s Fund is a wonderful opportunity prior to my career as a physician because of the fact that many different kinds of patients come through the hospital doors. Knowing how to talk, respond and handle these types of situations takes a lot of experience and learning. I don’t want to be naïve and think that just because I don’t see it, it is not really happening or that it could never happen to me. I want to learn so I’m a better professional for myself and for my future patients. I am excited to gain knowledge on Domestic Violence and learn more about the ins and outs of a nonprofit organization.
Let the Picasso in you shine!
New at Nats Park for 2017, join us for an evening of Paint at The Park on Thursday, September 28th! Fans will be treated to a pre-game paint class led by Art by the Glazz in our Family Picnic area with views of Nationals Batting Practice. You’ll have the opportunity to paint an exclusive Nationals design and enjoy a drink from one of our nearby concession stands. No experience is required for this fun, one of kind experience.
$75 Ticket includes-
For more details or to purchase visit www.nationals.com/paint
For groups of 13 or more tickets or questions contact Jennifer McCarty; 202-640-7648 or email@example.com
Anthony Perez worked as an intern for Becky’s Fund since July. He was a blast to have around and will surely be missed!
Below is Anthony’s reflection on his time here:
Before entering Becky’s Fund, I remember imagining how my internship at the organization would be. I pictured myself in front of a crowd of students, even more, a crowd of people, talking about the issue of domestic violence and creating big changes. Of course, to myself, I knew my imaginations were too idealistic, but even then I could not have expected what I experienced at Becky’s Fund.
Knowing that I would take part in the Men of the Code program, I was ready and excited to start training and going over the lesson plan. However, as my first few weeks passed, I began realizing that my position and role in Becky’s Fund was much larger and important than just an instructor. Being an instructor is vital to the Men of Code program, but there are so many other critical pieces and steps at play and that is what I learned during my time here.
I was reminded about the importance that seemingly small tasks have in the grand scheme of things. My views about running a nonprofit organization before my internship were too black and white. I never realized that in order to run a successful run a non-profit one must run the organization as if it was a business. This meant creating a brand, learning how to properly spread the word of your cause, finding out what makes donators and sponsors interested in nonprofit organizations, maintaining public relations, partnering with other businesses, and much more.
I recall myself at times sluggishly making social media posts, writing letter after letter, or taking on various other tedious tasks. I mentally labeled the tasks as irrelevant and would try to get it done as soon as possible, but my way of thinking then was very flawed. I had forgotten to look outside of myself and realize that any work I produce on behalf of Becky’s Fund will represent not just me but the organization itself. As much as I want to help domestic violence survivors and spread awareness, I also needed to work hard in enforcing the image and structure of Becky’s Fund so that the organization can continue its mission long after I complete my internship.
The Montgomery County Women’s Bar Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Maryland is proud to host a charity cycle ride for Becky’s Fund on Saturday, September 23 from 11 AM to 12 PM at Equinox Bethesda. Each bike is $35 per rider, and act fast – there are only 20 bikes left!
Bring your competitive spirit and lace up those shoes, this is a spin session that is unlike any cycling class you have taken. Pursuit: Burn is a class inspired by video games, where you compete with others around you and see your results in visual fruition. Taught by Jennifer Blackburn Steinmetz, Equinox Area Group Fitness Manager and recent honoree by Washingtonian as one of the top eight trainers in the DMV.
Want to enjoy the class but the competition sounds too intense? No worries – we can opt you out from the competition but you may still enjoy the burn. Others who do not want to ride but would like to contribute may also sponsor a rider.
To reserve or sponsor, please visit http://www.beckysfund.org/get-involved/donate/ and click the “Donate” button. Under “Instructions to Seller,” please write “Cycle” to reserve a bike or “Cycle – <name of rider being sponsored>” to sponsor a rider.
If you have questions, please contact Jeanette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please go to www.beckysfund.org/get-involved/donate/ and click the “Donate” button to reserve a bike or sponsor a rider!
Program and Communications Intern, 2017
I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work as a Program and Communications Intern at Becky’s Fund. It was very exciting and rewarding to use the research I previously completed on sexual assault prevention programming in my work developing Men of Code, the primary prevention initiative I worked on and taught this summer. Becky allowed her interns quite a bit of independence in style, so there was a sense of satisfaction I felt at the completion of each class knowing that the curriculum taught was the one I had put effort into writing and editing with my co-workers. The classes didn’t always go as expected, but I learned a lot about education programming and non-profit outreach because of this. As the weeks progressed, I believe I gained a new confidence in the classroom, something I’m very proud of considering my initial hesitation to teach. My favorite part about working for Becky’s Fund was the wide variety of tasks that Becky assigned to me. These allowed for previous skill sets to be strengthened and new skill sets to be developed, which is all I could hope for from an internship experience.
I know that before I applied to Becky’s Fund, I did a lot of research about the organization and read the final reflections of past interns. I welcome those considering interning at Becky’s Fund to contact me and ask more questions about the position, if interested. The Program and Communications internship pushed me out of my comfort zone on many levels, restored confidence in my ability to try new things, and showed me that I’m capable of handling and successfully completing a variety of different tasks. I met new people and became friends with my co-workers, who I had a great time working with. Thank you Becky for this wonderful opportunity and for your mentorship throughout this summer. I hope to keep in touch with you as I continue on to the next! Best of luck,
By Anthony Perez, contributor Erzsebet Helmeczy
As in most cases of domestic and dating violence, the enforcement of power and control always play a role. Whether physical, emotional, financial or verbal abuse, the abuser aims to dominate and push their victim to submission. At times it may be difficult to recognize manipulation. Tactics of emotional abuse such as ghosting, benching, gaslighting, and recently-coined “lovebombing” have been haunting people from relationship to relationship. It’s easy to mistake some of these behaviors as signs of affection, thus important to distinguish their characteristics in order to avoid partners that use them.
Have you ever found yourself in a wild romance where your partner showers you with gifts, tells you everything you want to hear, relates to you in almost every way…and next thing you know, and in little time at all, you two are moving in together? You may want to slow down and be cautious. Not to knock off true love, but this is a scenario often used by sociopaths, narcissists, and manipulators to take advantage of their partners. The term “lovebombing” trends from situations where an abuser bombards their partner with presents, attention, affection, and compliments. This may entail extensive texting, emails, messages on social media, phone calls, constant flirting, and love notes to the point that victims are overwhelmed by the attention, but also drawn to it. The wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing is giving their partner everything they want in a relationship; things only seen or heard of in romance films. However, as the manipulation continues, the victim loses track of what’s happening. The relationship moves quickly, and the more time the victim spends with their partner, the less they spend with others. They may lose their independence and agency, and thus the abuser maintains power and control.
The victim may not realize they are being manipulated, especially since the relationship feels so comfortable. However, just like any honeymoon or “honeymoon phase” of a new relationship, the feeling eventually comes to an end. The victim may still be emotionally attached to the abuser, but once they want to start applying attention elsewhere, the abuser shows their true colors. They might become angry and overly jealous, enforcing outrageous demands such as spending all their time with their partner, which may further distance the victim’s friends and family. Abusers will often use these tactics on people who tend to feel lonely, or those who feel they need an intimate relationship with another person and are counting on it. After spending so much time with the abuser, and so little time with other people, the victim may become emotionally dependent. They will do as the abuser says in order to maintain the company and affection of their partner.
Next, we will discuss gaslighting. This term references a stage play in the 1930s titled “Gas Light”. In the play, a husband who is trying to get rid of his wife attempts to make her think that she is going slowly mad by making subtle changes to her environment (e.g. slightly dimming the flame on the gas lamp). Dr. George Simons, who has specialized in personality and character disturbances for almost 25 years, defines gaslighting as a “sophisticated manipulation tactic which certain types of personalities use to create doubt in the minds of others.” Though this is a ploy that can be used outside of the realm of dating and relationships, abusers can also use this to get what they want from their partners.
Gaslighting can be achieved through several different methods. In some situations, the manipulator could profess something so intensely, firm and with confidence that they provoke the victim to doubt their own perspective and gut feeling. A popular example of this is when a speaker backs their argument with seemingly accurate historical facts, but distort or omit certain pieces of crucial information in order to skew an image in their favor. Fiercely denying something could also be a form of gaslighting, which is a method used often by cheaters. They make their partners believe that their suspicions are just paranoia. They evoke deep doubt, and the victim loses faith in their own intuition and may begin to believe that they are just overthinking things, that they are crazy, or that they should calm down and trust their abuser.
With the use of technology on the rise, the online dating culture has influenced modern relationships and the issues that single people face. One such issue is benching. Though this existed long before technology, online dating has encouraged the practise of benching. Apps like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr have made finding a new partner fairly easy so that with just one swipe, we can begin chatting with a completely different and new person. Thus, this feeling that there is always someone better lingers in our minds and causes us to avoid commitment. Benchers keep their “options open” in order to not make a wrong choice.
While this behavior is becoming normalized in our dating culture, it still plays a toll on the victim. Benchers keep their partners at disposal in order to not feel alone. Yet, benchers refrain from taking things seriously just in case they meet someone better. The victim feels they are being toyed with and just when they are at the point of giving up and moving on, the bencher reappears to keep them interested. This gives a false sense of hope to the victim, who may be looking for something more serious or long term. The best thing to do in this situation is have an honest conversation about expectations and terms of the relationship, come to a decision, and hold one another accountable for following through on the promises. In this situation, “actions speak louder than words”.
Ghosting is similar to benching. However, while benching keeps various partners on standby, ghosting completely cuts off the connection with no intent of speaking again. The reasoning behind ghosting is that the person being ghosted will eventually realize that there is no more interest and just move on, but that may not always be the case. People dislike having to let someone down so they just avoid communication altogether; however, just like any problem, avoiding communication is never the solution. People who are ghosted are shocked by the sudden up-and-leave which leaves them confused about where it all went wrong. It is actually a form of emotional cruelty as the victim is now dealing with feelings of social rejection. Disappointing someone does not leave a good feeling in their stomach, but ghosting leaves a heavier, longer-term impact on those affected.
Some people are unaware of the harm they bring when they lovebomb, gaslight, bench, or ghost people, though these are often tactics used by sociopaths, narcissists, and manipulators to obtain power and control over their partners. Regardless if intentional or not, these are forms of manipulation and therefore forms of emotional abuse. Keeping an awareness of abusive tactics is crucial for recognizing patterns that raise red flags marking unhealthy relationships. It’s important to understand and spread awareness about abusive relationships so that we can both escape abusive situations and avoid being the manipulator ourselves.