By NaTyshca Pickett
Domestic Violence Rally 2020
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For the month of October, we are featuring organizations and individuals who are working tirelessly to raise the awareness of this global pandemic.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, there is an increase of stressors as a result of the pandemic. Some of those include schools remaining closed, loss of income, isolation from extended family and friends and not having the chance to participate in or enjoying relaxing activities. If these stressors are in the mix of an already abusive relationship, the pandemic can make matters worse.
This is what Cynthya Hale is trying to combat. Hale is the Founder and CEO of FFT Helping Others (Family, Friends, Togetherness), she is also a Global Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. FFT Helping Others is a grassroots advocacy 501c3 non-profit organization, that has been aiding families and individuals through domestic violence, human trafficking and spreading awareness about these issues, along with sex trafficking, homelessness and relief action.
"We started out by helping hurricane victims and victims who had become homeless when hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. There was such a need to help the people out there. We partnered with Voices of Puerto Rico and were able to bring food and materials to the people," Hale stated.
Once she arrived to Puerto Rico, she saw first hand the devastation the people were faced with and she saw that there was another cause for concern, the increase in domestic violence and human trafficking cases.
"I saw the signs of domestic violence because I was once a victim over 17 years ago," Hale said. From her experience, she knew that this was a cause for concern, but when she went to look for resources, there weren't many available to provide the people of Puerto Rico or the community where she lived in the United Stated, so from there, she created her own.
"As a Christian, I wanted to take a holistic approach. I knew that these were issues that the church was not addressing so I wanted to be that place and resource that people in and out of the church can turn to for help," said Hale.
Along with her experience as CEO and Global Goodwill Ambassador, Hale is also a certified trainer for the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and the Center for Disease and Control (CDC). She also speaks to schools to bring awareness of Teen Dating Violence.
Hale launched the first Domestic Violence Vigil hosted by FFT Helping Others in Washington, D.C. in 2019. The purpose of the rally is spread awareness of domestic violence and to acknowledge and hear the stories from survivors of domestic violence.
"We need help changing laws that will protect families who are going through issues of violence, abuse and trafficking. Our hope is that our rally and vigil will continue to spread the awareness and grab the attention of those who are in position to make this change happen," Hale stated.
Due to COVID, this year's rally and vigil will take place virtually through the FFT Helping Others Facebook Live page on October 1, 2020 starting at 2pm EST.
For more information on how to get involved or how to attend, you can visit their website at
www.fft-helpingothers.comor through their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/791969238009342.