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Abuse Survivor Hopes 5K Boosts Awareness, Prevention

Run for Ribbons 5K aimed to raise awareness, encourage prevention of child abuse.

With the in downtown Plymouth on Sept. 23, race organizer Jasmine Millwood hopes the event’s message of child abuse awareness and prevention resonates long after runners cross the finish line.

Millwood, who survived chronic child abuse with her two sisters before , Plymouth Township Supervisor Richard Reaume, said she organized the race to make people comfortable talking about an often-taboo topic.

“My main wish is to just get the conversation started,” she said.  “We’re trying to make this scary topic not scary.”

Millwood chronicled her own abuse and its lasting impact , released earlier this year.

She serves as executive director of Lighthouse Family Charities, where she focuses on spreading abuse awareness and encouraging prevention tactics. Among her efforts is distributing abuse prevention booklets to local fifth-graders.

“For any cause — cancer, diabetes, whatever it may be — prevention is the key,” she said. “If we can just instill these prevention tactics in these kids’ minds, we can prevent (abuse) from happening,” she said.

With the 5K, Millwood is hoping to broaden the audience for her message, even while she acknowledges the complexity and prohibitive overhead costs of planning a 5K.

“I can’t believe how much work it is,” Millwood said with a chuckle.

Still, she said, early enthusiasm from enlisted participants has her optimistic for a strong, engaged turnout.

“People are excited about it,” she said. “A lot of people sign up and reach out to their own friends and family.”

The event is offering both a one-mile and 5K race. The one mile race begins at 7:45 a.m., while the 5K starts at 8 a.m. The race follows the existing Shamrock ‘N Roll Run route.

Registration is $20 for the one-mile race, $35 for the 5K race and $40 for both the one-mile and 5K race. The registration fee includes an event shirt. Online registration is open until noon on Sept. 20.

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