GLENDALE—For the first time, the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (ARS) will be participating as an official charity of the Honda LA Marathon this year, joining 70 other charities in a campaign entitled “I Run 4 Something” to take place on Sunday, March 18.
The marathon covers a 26.2 mile distance starting at the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium and ending in Santa Monica. The ARS team, “Heartline Against Domestic Violence,” will take part in the charity 2-person marathon, where each participant will cover half the distance of 13.1 miles, similar to a relay.
With its participation as an official charity of the marathon, the ARS team hopes to increase awareness of domestic violence and to support the organization’s efforts to aid victims of such abuse. “Participating as an official charity of the marathon allows us to utilize this major platform to help raise funds for those in our communities who have sought our help, as a result of the abuses they have suffered,” says Carmen Libaridian, Vice-Chairperson of the ARS Regional Executive Board.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that domestic violence can be defined as “attempting to cause or causing bodily injury to a family or household member or placing a family or household member by threat of force in fear of imminent physical harm.” A clinical or behavioral definition of domestic violence is “a pattern of assaultive and/or coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners.” In many communities, including immigrant populations, domestic violence often has a slightly broader context of abuse, such as in-laws abusing a daughter-in-law.
In recent years, the ARS has sought to serve victims of domestic violence more effectively through social services and counseling centers and other community resources, but funding gaps have hindered efforts for comprehensive assistance. By reaching out to the community and collaborating with other charities, the ARS hopes to prevent abusive behavior by launching awareness campaigns as well as help restore the lives of victims of domestic violence.
Those interested in making a donation in support of the team can visit the ARS-WUSA’s Crowdrise page at www.crowdrise.com/ARS-WUSA or contact the ARS Regional Headquarters at (818) 500-1343 or LAMarathon@arswestusa.org.
The ARS of Western USA, established in 1984 and with regional headquarters in Glendale, California, is a humanitarian organization with 27 chapters and over 1,500 members in 5 western states. The ARS of Western USA operates a Social Service Division with 5 social service centers and a Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center in Southern California, in addition to funding numerous youth programs, scholarships, and relief efforts around the word. For further information, please visit www.arswestusa.org.