Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates will hold its 11th annual Walk Against Domestic Violence on Saturday, Sept. 18. 

“SOFIA welcomes the community to affirm support for those affected by domestic violence and intimate partner violence,” a press release from the organization said. “Our message continues to be that ‘With awareness there is hope,’ and SOFIA hopes the walk will continue to lift up the community to benefit us all.”

The walk will be in Canterbury Park. SOFIA also encourages a hybrid option where participants walk wherever they feel comfortable, in consideration of the continuing effects of COVID-19.

The grand marshal for the walk will be artist Carol J. Cohn. Cohn is a published commercial illustrator, and her work is exhibited regularly in many areas, most recently as part of Fresh Air Montclair. 

The goals for the walk are to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding intimate partner and domestic violence, to ensure SOFIA has the resources to address ongoing emergency needs of domestic violence victims and to secure funds for operational maintenance of the SOFIA Success Center.

“An important part of why SOFIA holds its annual walk is to show our survivors, as well as those still in abusive relationships, that they have a community of support available to them,” executive director and founder of SOFIA Cynthia Walker said. “Coming together in public for the Walk Against Domestic Violence minimizes the stigma and raises awareness about warning signs and resources.” 

Pre-registration for the Walk Against Domestic Violence is strongly encouraged and can be done by visiting the event website. Participants unable to pre-register online can do so at Canterbury Park beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 18. The walk begins at 10 a.m. Masks, social distancing, and other safety protocols will be strongly encouraged for participants. 

Registration for individuals starts at $20, and team captains can register for $45 and have team members sign up for $20 each. A team can represent a business, organization or community group. 

Those unable to join the event can make a donation directly to SOFIA in honor or remembrance of a loved one at or by sending a check to SOFIA, PO Box 674, Montclair, NJ 07042.

Walk schedule: 

  • 9 to 10 a.m.: Last-minute registration at Canterbury Park
  • 10 to 11 a.m.: The start of the walk
  • 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: Grand Marshal Carol J. Cohn and sponsor recognitions 
  • Noon: Gratitude salutation with the community