PHILADELPHIA, PA – The president of the Kristin Mitchell Foundation, Bill Mitchell, returned to Saint Joseph’s Cardinal Foley Center, and spoke about dating violence awareness and Kristin’s Krusade 5K Run/Walk. The turnout far exceeded all expectations with about 175 students in attendance.

MitchellMr. Mitchell is the father of Kristin Mitchell, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2005.  The key points of his speech were what happened to his daughter and the reasons why this might not have happened had she been better informed about the potential danger she was in.

Spearheaded by both the SJU Enactus and REPP students, this speaking event aligned perfectly with Saint Joseph’s iCare Week. Participants had the opportunity to hear Mr. Mitchell speak about the critical warning signs that could have saved his daughter. He also gave real examples of young women who were in harm’s way but were able to get timely help.

One section of the speech the audience found most-chilling was when he read the actual words written by the young woman who had dated his daughter’s killer just prior to his daughter, Kristin. He also read parts of a letter written by his daughter’s murderer, who is currently in a state prison.

zz-LOGO-5Bill Mitchell characterized dating violence, also known as intimate partner violence, as “a widespread epidemic of pain and suffering that leads to a lifetime of broken dreams.” He described how this kind of abuse is centered on the control the abuser maintains over the abused. Of particular note was that breaking up with a controlling person is “the most dangerous time,” and that everyone deserves a healthy relationship, safe from violence and fear.

Mr. Mitchell felt the speech was timely due the recent tragedy at nearby Millersville University. “I was honored to be asked to make these kinds of speeches. Inevitably, we later hear that something we said touched someone and made a huge difference in their life. I feel our daughter would want us to do these speeches, and we are pleased to do them.” The Kristin Mitchell Foundation’s mission is to support educational efforts that raise awareness among young adults about the dangers of unhealthy dating relationships.

zz-LOGO-5Enactus and REPP students handed out pocket-sized warning signs cards provided by the Kristin Mitchell Foundation, that explain many of the red flags of an unhealthy relationship. The cards list hotline numbers to 24-hour advice or immediate assistance.

“It does our hearts good to see such a large group come out on a night like this,” said Mr. Mitchell, “My wife and I came here tonight feeling very excited to break the silence about dating violence. The way the students embraced this message lets us know they will take this to their friends and family members, and most-likely save someone’s life. It is our daughter’s legacy that her tragedy will help others avoid another such an incident.” Mr. Mitchell encouraged students to sign up for the upcoming 9th Annual Kristin’s Krusade which is held less than two months from now on April 19th. You can sign up on this website today.

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