The University of Michigan Police Department (UMPD), in partnership with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office, hosted the third annual Purple Run, a 5k run/walk, October 21 on the university’s North Campus.
More than 260 people participated and the event raised more than $13,000 for the SafeHouse Center, a nearly 50% increase in donations from last year. In addition, eight major sponsors and ten generous in-kind supporters contributed to the event this year, more than ever before.
“SafeHouse Center is such an invaluable resource for our community, providing free and confidential services to survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault throughout Washtenaw County,” said U-M Police Chief Robert Neumann. “We wanted to do all we could to support their mission and ensure that survivors have a safe place to go.”
Domestic violence is an issue that can affect anyone—and the University of Michigan community is no exception. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.
Officers with UMPD’s Special Victims Unit, who are specially trained to help victims of intimate partner violence navigate the criminal justice system, organized the run. Additionally, the family-friendly event featured exhibits from Huron Valley Ambulance’s Andy the Ambulance, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit, law enforcement K9 units and live music by The Soul Practitioners.
“We were honored to have the support of our great community partners,” Barbara Niess-May, executive director of SafeHouse Center said. “This collaboration helps bring awareness and also support for close to 5,000 survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in our own community.”
UMPD would like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and participants who came out to raise awareness about domestic violence and support this important cause.
The Purple Run will be held again in October 2018. We hope you will join us in helping to run domestic violence out of town!