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Domestic Violence Survivors to be Awarded ‘Cycle for Change’ Scholarships Friday

Eight survivors of domestic violence, including an immigrant from Vietnam, and an Iraq war veteran, will receive “Cycle for Change” scholarships at a special ceremony that will take place on Friday, March 24, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. at the Villa Maria shelter (920 S. Oregon.)

El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal and Villa Maria shelter director Linda Velarde will present the scholarships to victims of domestic violence who requested financial assistance to pursue academic goals, or to fulfil needs such as therapeutic services, child care, or any other needs that might become an obstacle for them to move forward with their life.

“One of the most disheartening realities one faces while trying to help survivors of domestic violence is to see those victims return to their abusive relationships within days of a violent incident. Often that happens because many of those victims lack self-esteem and the necessary skills to live independently. The idea behind this program is to financially assist those survivors in their journey to acquire those skills that will guarantee their independence, so that they can forever break the cycle of violence,” said El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal

“Any primary survivor of domestic violence who resides in El Paso County, regardless of their immigration status, is eligible to apply for a scholarship from the program,” Bernal concluded.

The funds for the scholarships comes from the annual cycling tour “Cycle for Change: From Surviving to Thriving,” which was held on October 23, 2016, at Gallegos Park. The event was created with the purpose of raising funds to help survivors of domestic violence break the cycle of violence and help them thrive in our community.

More than 300 cyclists from the region participated in last year’s event helping us raise more than $10,000, a record-breaking amount for the event.

For more information about the program please visit their website.

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