Running Domestic Violence Out of Town

Heather Flett, Program Manager at Metropolitan Family Services, was recently featured in the “Get to Know a Team Mate” section of Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network newsletter. Heather is on the Run Domestic Violence Out of Town Team in the Bank of America 2013 Chicago Marathon.

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Heather Flett

“My name is Heather and I am so excited to join you on the RunDV Out of Town team!

I just celebrated my 20- year anniversary in the movement to end domestic violence. I have worked with survivors, perpetrators, and child witnesses of domestic violence in many different settings, including schools, shelters, the court system, and community agencies.I am currently a Program Manager at Metropolitan Family Services (one of the collaborative partner organizations).

When I’m not working, I enjoy crafting; organizing the Handmade Market; cooking; reading; time with friends, and, of course, running. And, those off occasions when I gets the chance to sleep.

Last year, I ran my first marathon. I would be lying if I said it had always been a dream of mine. Frankly, I never had the desire; I considered the friends of mine who did, out of their minds. In fact, prior to the marathon, I wasn’t much of a runner.

My first 5k was the October before the marathon, and the few months before that, I began to run on a regular basis for the first time. My decision to run came in the Fall of 2011 when Metropolitan Family Services had to close intake for our domestic violence counseling program. The demand for services in our community far outweighs the resources available. Turning away women and children in need of service left me feeling powerless and heartbroken.

It was Charlie Stoops and his campaign, Everyone Can Do One Thing to End Domestic Violence that inspired me. Raising awareness and funding for domestic violence was my motivation.

To say that the training and the marathon were difficult would be a gross understatement. In addition to a number of injuries, I was unaware of the extent to which training would take over my life. But, a year later here I am, ready to do it again. It may be because the benefits and rewards far outweigh the pain and sacrifice; or, it may be that my brain has lost so much oxygen due to all that running that I can no longer make rational decision.

I will see you soon on the running path!”

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