Walk Together Against Domestic Violence
Updated: Oct 16
Submitted by Dan Meredith and Pete Miragliotta
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Center for Hope and Safety’s Walk Together Against Domestic Violence is an annual event held at Van Saun County Park in Paramus. This year due to concerns of COVID-19 the option to participate in person or not in person is available. The Center for Hope and Safety created this event to be an uplifting celebration and it has now become one of the Center’s largest and most important fundraisers. This year because of the COVID-19 crisis and all of the shutdowns the Center for Hope and Safety needs our help more than before. This Not-For-Profit organization has kept its doors open while most of their fundraisers have been shut down. This walk is more important now than ever to raise much-needed funds for the Center for Hope and Safety. For over five years the Dan Meredith Agency along with the Allstate Foundation has supported and participated in the Walk Together Against Domestic Violence. The Allstate Dan Meredith Agency Team will again be walking on the 24th of October in support of the Center for Hope and Safety and our Bergen County neighbors and friends affected by domestic violence.
Two years ago we joined together with longtime Rutherford residents Pete and Jackie Miragliotta. Together we made a commitment to raise awareness of domestic violence, especially in our hometown for Rutherford. We work to let the public know that the Center for Hope and Safety is an open door to all Bergen County residents seeking help with resources, counseling, shelter, and a way out of abusive relationships and along the pathway to self-sufficiency. To learn more about the Center for Hope and Safety, click here. We also have worked to grow our team together and raise as much support for this walk as we can. This October 24th please join the Allstate Dan Meredith Agency as we Walk Together Against Domestic Violence. Please click on this link to join and/or financially support the team.
Here are some words from Pete Miragliotta:
We know that Dan and Kristin Meredith hold the needs of victims and survivors of domestic violence close to their hearts. We sincerely thank them for their generous and unwavering support of Center for Hope and Safety (CHS) and our clients. Jackie and I got involved in this cause and in support of CHS after we lost our daughter, Michele Sabia, to domestic homicide. Like many people, we had a limited understanding of what domestic violence (DV) is and the many ways it manifests itself in even the most seemingly “normal” and tranquil relationships. DV doesn’t discriminate based on socioeconomic status, race, gender, or age. It manifests itself in many different ways and rarely starts out as physical abuse. I was very surprised to learn that over 95% of the murders annually in Bergen County are DV related. CHS is Bergen County’s only organization that is providing comprehensive services and support to DV victims and survivors.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, it immediately became more difficult for DV victims to reach out for help because of being sheltered-in-place with their abusers. Ironically, while domestic abuse increased, calls to police departments and our organization initially fell off. This was a national phenomenon. Fortunately, as things opened up a bit and we undertook a focused campaign (coordinated with local police agencies) to communicate to DV victims, the calls for help increased and we have been able to provide safety and other much-needed services to those who need them. Our safe house and transitional homes are once again at or near full capacity.
As Board President at CHS and as the father of a beautiful daughter who was lost to DV, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who volunteers, donates, and walks to support those who have and maybe still suffering from the effects of domestic violence.
Michele Sabia's best friend, Deborah Bode, wrote a book to honor her friend Michele. Click here for the link to learn more about this book and how to purchase it.