Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Batman, a bumblebee and dozens of princesses participated in four races, ranging from one-quarter of a mile to one mile, during the second Youth Track or Treat. The event raised money for the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Sheltering Hands Domestic Violence Shelter, the only women’s shelter in Cobb County.
The event was expected to raise about $40,000.
That’s money that will go a long way, said Holly Tuchman, executive director and CEO of the YWCA of Northwest Georgia, in helping the 250 women and children the shelter sees each year.
It could pay for anything from food at the shelter to case workers who help victims of abuse get back on their feet.
“Everyone’s situation is a little different,” Tuchman said.
Though families spent the day laughing, running and playing, Tuchman said it’s important to realize that domestic violence affects people from all walks of life.
“There are people that aren’t going to their home tonight because they don’t feel safe and that should be the one place you feel safe,” Tuchman said.
Jeff Felshaw, of Marietta, dressed as the crocodile from the movie “Peter Pan” at the event.
Funding for programs that help domestic violence victims is needed, Felshaw said, and it’s something that can often be overlooked.
“For every one woman who comes forward, there are 10 more,” Felshaw said.
Breaking the progression of domestic abuse is the only way to prevent violence from being normalized, said Nurdan Cornelyus, chairwoman of the YWCA board.
Boys who grow up in abusive homes are 50 percent more likely to become abusers.
“Maybe we’ll break the cycle,” Cornelyus said.
Tiffany Parker brought her 4-month-old daughter to the event and said she’s glad to see children of all ages becoming aware of domestic violence.
“I think the earlier we can get kids involved the better,” Parker said.