MOUNT VERNON — New Directions: The Domestic Abuse Shelter of Knox County, will be hosting their ninth annual benefit dinner on Thursday, April 11, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Glenn A. Gallagher Centre will be the site for this year’s event.

The event will feature speakers Kristen Faith and TerryJosiah Sharpe from the non-profit organization, Break the Silence Domestic Violence. Faith is the founder of Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence and has spoken nationally to educate college campuses, first responders, health care professionals and social workers on the complete scope of domestic violence. Faith shared her story on social media and it went viral, creating a platform for her to do more in her work to break the cycle of domestic violence. Sharpe is a father, combat veteran, philanthropist, and former abuser who shares his personal journey and is an advocate against abuse.

The Mary Hendrickson Award will be given to a community pioneer whose outstanding dedication helped get New Directions going, and who served as a board member intermittently until 2014. Additionally, a Volunteer Award will be presented to a recipient who has provided countless hours of work focused on youth in our community.

New Directions has offered shelter, advocacy and other support services for survivors of domestic, intimate partner and sexual violence for more than 35 years and violence prevention programming through the DELTA Project for more than 15 years. Additional prevention programming is also offered through the Ohio Department of Health’s Rape Prevention Education (RPE) grant.

Beginning in 2011, community businesses have donated and more than 200 community members have contributed at least $100 each to attend annual benefit dinners to ensure an open door to shelter and healthy relationships at New Directions. Their cumulative donation over the past eight benefit dinners exceeded $224,000 and the aim is to raise at least $35,000 this year.

To register or make a donation for this event, visit the New Directions website at www.newdirectionsshelter.org or call the agency at 740-397-4357.

A workshop, Let’s Talk About It: The Raw Truth of Domestic Violence, will also be presented on Friday, April 12, by Kristen Faith and TerryJosiah Sharpe. This event will be co-sponsored by Kenyon College Cox Health & Counseling Center. Students, community members and professionals whose lives and work are touched by domestic violence or sexual assault are encouraged to attend. One in every four women and one in every seven men will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Everyone is impacted, even if they aren’t aware. By attending this event, participants will learn warning signs and become more aware of the impact of domestic violence, as well as what to do if someone you love is being victimized.

Friday’s event will be held at the Glenn A. Gallagher Centre from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration for this event is required and space is limited. Register at https://talkaboutitdv.eventbrite.com.

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Mount Vernon News: 740-397-5333 or news@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews