Every year, as we approach our annual Gala event, I start thinking. Thinking about the irony of getting decked out in my finest cocktail wear to support those who have been victims of domestic or sexual violence.
One might assume that many of those attending our biggest fundraiser may not have had to experience fearing for their safety in their home or sexual violation. Yet, the statistics show that 1 in 3 Michigan families experience violence, and 1 in 5 women in the United States experience an attempted or completed rape. So odds are, someone in attendance has or may even currently be affected by one of these awful crimes.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible for us to go around and stop every rape, assault or act of abuse when it occurs. But by hosting events that help people become more aware of cultural influences that can contribute to domestic and sexual violence, we can help prevent it before it begins. And the information we share can also aid individuals in recognizing possible signs of abuse in their lives.
Every day we assist victims who may feel alone, scared or confused. Not knowing where to go or whom to ask for help can make a traumatic experience even scarier. At HAVEN, we work to ease some of those feelings and help those that need us start to focus on regaining control of their lives.
The theme for this year’s Gala, held at Detroit Troy Marriott on May 6, is Hopes & Dreams. I cannot think of a better way to describe what this event provides to the survivors we serve. Purchasing tickets or sponsoring the event literally pays for the services that help give survivors hope so that they can start to heal and continue pursuing their dreams that have been interrupted.
I hope you can join us for the 2016 Hopes & Dreams Gala and be part of the effort to move victims forward and bring an end to the crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault. After all, when you look past the sequins and centerpieces, what you have is a community coming together to support the worthy cause of helping ALL people live without fear. And we can always use a few more helping hands.
The 2016 Hope & Dreams Gala will be held on Friday, May 6 at the Detroit Troy Marriott and will feature a seated dinner, live entertainment by the Urban Violinist, live and silent auctions, and an afterglow party. Detroit Lions’ President Rod Wood will be in attendance to accept the Heart of HAVEN Award on behalf of the Detroit Lions organization and WXYZ Anchor, Glenda Lewis will serve as the event emcee. For more information, contact Stephanie Holland at 248-322-3705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.