Runners Spread Hope, Raise Funds for Critical Services

RAINN’s annual Lace Up for RAINN 5K event went off without a hitch. On Saturday May 20, hundreds of runners participated in the sporting event to raise funds for critical services, such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Several runners begin racing during 2017 Lace Up for RAINN 5K
Runners gather before the start of the race

Runners across the country laced up their sneakers in their hometowns as part of the Lace Up “virtual” event, encouraging community members to donate to support survivors and become familiar with statistics about sexual violence.

Meanwhile in DC, runners were greeted with cool spring weather for the in-person race held at Congressional Cemetery. The event was marked by a speech from  Jeanette Morelan, a survivor of sexual violence and member of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau. Morelan shared her experience with the crowd and talked about the importance of believing someone when they tell you they’ve been sexually assaulted. "Today, we run, walk, and stand with RAINN and the millions of women and men whose stories it represents—to those who have chosen to speak out and to those who remain silent," said Morelan. "Today, we say we believe you, we are with you, and we are for you. You are not alone." 

Starting line banner above the 2017 Lace Up for RAINN 5K
The DC event was held at the Historic Congressional Cemetary

In total, more than 530 people participated in this year’s Lace Up for RAINN, raising more than $60,000. “Events like Lace Up have the power to remind people that sexual violence affects nearly every family in America—and it’s up to us to do something about it,” said Chelsea Bowers, RAINN’s director of development. “The funds raised from this event will go on to support critical services, like the National Sexual Assault Hotline, where survivors can turn anytime—day or night—for support.”

Lace Up for RAINN began in 2014, first as a virtual-only event. In 2016, the in-person race was added in Washington, DC, just down the road from RAINN’s headquarters. The race is chip-timed and USA Track & Field certified.

“Year after year, the people who register for Lace Up for RAINN surprise us with their kindness and dedication to making a difference in the lives of survivors. This year was no different,” said Bowers.

To view pictures from the 2017 Lace Up for RAINN event, visit RAINN’s Facebook page, and sign up for RAINN’s monthly newsletters to stay up to date on future events.

Lace Up for RAINN would not have been possible without the generous support of our partners and corporate sponsors. RAINN would like to extend a special thank you to the following organizations:

Seven out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim.

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