SJU Remembers Alumna During Dating Violence Awareness Event
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
PHILADELPHIA (September 23, 2009) — On Sunday, Oct. 4, Saint Joseph’s University, in partnership with The Kristin Mitchell Foundation, will host the fourth-annual Kristin’s Krusade 5K Run/Walk to support advocacy and education for the prevention of dating violence. Sign-up for the race will be from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m.; the race will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saint Joseph’s Finnesey Field. In addition to the race, the event will include a post-race raffle with prizes such as sport and event tickets, gift certificates for some of the region’s top restaurants, and a Nintendo Wii.
The incident between celebrities Chris Brown and Rihanna put the pervasive problem of dating violence and abuse in the national spotlight. It’s an issue that has very personally affected Saint Joseph’s campus after alumna and friend Kristin Mitchell ’05 was brutally murdered by her boyfriend in Conshohocken, Pa., weeks after graduation from the University.
Shortly after Kristin’s death, friends and family established The Kristin Mitchell Foundation to support educational efforts that raise awareness among college students about the potential dangers of unhealthy dating relationships.
Kristin’s parents – Bill and Michele Mitchell – have become national advocates for dating violence prevention and education, appearing on “Good Morning America,” speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and testifying before the Maryland House on Bill 845, which passed unanimously into law on March 4, 2009 to become the Maryland tween- and teen- dating violence education law.
“Our daughter did not know that someone’s controlling and manipulative behavior could be a warning sign of impending dangerous emotional and physical consequences,” says Bill Mitchell, Kristin’s father and president of Kristin’s Krusade. “We’ve learned the hard way that dating violence and abuse must be discussed and this lesson needs to be taught early in life.”
Currently, dating violence education is not a component of the middle- or high school curricula in 47 states. Members of the Kristin Mitchell Foundation are working to change this. “We want every state to call for school districts to implement programs in public schools to educate students about dating violence,” adds the Mitchells, who recently joined a national coalition called MADE (Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse), established by parents who have lost children to dating violence. Through MADE, parents, educators and anyone committed to this issue can take action by supporting education in schools and contacting local middle schools and high schools to teach teen dating abuse curricula.
For early registration and more information about the fourth-annual Kristin’s Krusade 5K Run/Walk, visit www.kristinskrusade.org.