Angela D. Alsobrooks

Angela Alsobrooks organized the Family Strong 5K Challenge.

By Natascha F. Saunders, Special to the AFRO

Residents, community leaders and vendors from Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia gathered at the Paint Branch Park Trail in College Park, Md. Oct. 18 for the Family Strong 5K Challenge. The event was organized by the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks and supported by the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office Specialized Services Team.

The Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center and Atikal Foundation co-hosted the event to demonstrate the power of togetherness in eradicating domestic violence within families and communities.

“It is really my belief that the only way to resolve domestic violence cases,” Alsobrooks said at the event. “We react to these cases well, as a public safety community, but this issue is resolved in our families.”

According to Alsobrooks, vendors were invited to the Family Strong event to provide resource solutions, but she stressed the importance of coming together as a community and as a family to eliminate domestic violence and to ensure that the cycle of violence that is seen in our families’ ends, most especially with children.

“We cannot afford to go into yet another generation without addressing this issue,” Alsobrooks said.

In the damp mist of the rain, surrounded by the fall leaves women, men, students both male and female, with numbered t-shirts, and signs showed their support to end domestic violence and celebrate the lives of victims. Attendees walked, ran and rolled to call for more attention to the effort to end domestic violence. They also asked for a collaborative effort in generating solutions.

Diop-Ali a college student and community supporter echoed Alsobrooks’s sentiments and was excited to support this cause by volunteering.

The event contributed support to the Prince George’s County Crime Victims Fund, which gives emergency funding to crime victims, and support groups for homicide, domestic violence, and elder abuse victims.

In continuing to end domestic violence Alsobrooks vowed throughout the year to talk about ways to support families through mental health treatment, not only providing help for crime victims, but also providing help for their abusers. “I’m pleased we have community members and public safety standing together as a community,” she said.

The Family Crisis Center in Prince George’s County was on hand standing together to support and share how they are taking on this challenge of providing wrap-around comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence as well as their abusers.  The Family Crisis Center in Prince George’s County is the only battered women’s shelter in the entire county, according to Dr. Sharon Kirkland-Gordon.

“We provide counseling, and transition services for the women in particularly,” Gordan said.

She said county funds, state funds, and federal funds were slashed, so the center is constantly in a position where it is looking for opportunities to support the continuation of their services.

“In order for us to support the center financially…we are constantly in a position of looking for funding,” Gordon said.

Gordan emphasized that the center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and works with the police department to help victims when needed. The Family Crisis Center’s 24-Hour Hotline is (301) 731-1203.