KOSCIUSKO — Over 200 people gathered in hopes of benefiting those who suffer from domestic abuse in our community. The Beaman home held its first Angels of Hope luncheon fundraiser yesterday, April 19, at Christ’s Covenant Church in Winona Lake.
Julie DiCaro was the key speaker for the event. DiCaro is a weekend host, update sports anchor for 670 The Score and a columnist for CBSChicago.com. She is also an honoree of the 2016 Forbes 40 Women to Watch Over 40. Besides being known as a sportswriter, DiCaro also created the viral Youtube video in which men read harassing tweets that have been directed towards her.
DiCaro’s message to attendees of the luncheon was all about changing the language and media coverage associated with domestic violence, especially in the professional sports world. She gave examples of domestic abuse cases involving athletes like former football running back Ray Rice, former football defensive end Greg Hardy and current football placekicker Josh Brown. These cases shape the way the communities around us view domestic abuse, and they aren’t usually handled correctly.
She explained that media coverage of these cases often show teammates or coaches supporting domestic abusers. This support makes the victim look like a liar. Another common problem is when abuser’s call the incident, “one simple mistake.” This language downplays the incident and indicates that it was a one-time occurrence, which is statistically not often the case.
“It’s so important to push back against that narrative. To me it’s so important to get this right,” said DiCaro. “Domestic violence in the media matters. It forms a base of knowledge for what the public knows on the matter.”
After DiCaro spoke, Tracie Hodson, executive director of the Beaman Home took the stage. She explained the great need for all the work the Beaman Home does for the community. Last year, the Beaman Home helped over 200 people struggling with domestic violence. One in three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
“We have in the media a conversation about terrorism.I can promise you that you need to be more afraid of the people you know than the people you don’t know,” said Hodson. “We as a community need to understand that violence in our homes translates to violence in our community.”
The Beaman Home is an essential part to helping victims of domestic violence in the community, but they can’t do it alone. It takes $60,000 each month to run the Beaman Home, half of which must be raised through various community resources.