NEWBURYPORT – Hundreds of walkers laced up Sunday morning for the 28th annual Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center’s Walk Against Domestic Violence.

Organizers set a goal of $90,000, with the money going to advocacy, clinical and legal assistance for the survivors of domestic violence helped by the center, which is in Amesbury.

As of Sunday evening, the center had raised just over $72,000 through its fundraising page, but that number does not account for on-site registrations.

Board President Jay Iannini acknowledged many in the crowd at Waterfront Park, shortly before walkers headed out through an arch of green and purple balloons on the three-mile trek.

In particular, he cited the Institution for Savings, a perennial sponsor of the walk, with 75 employees taking part this year.

He said that over the past year, the Geiger Crisis Center provided 13,000 free services to help more than 1,300 people in the 14 communities it serves.

Before the start of the walk, the Rev. Rebecca Bryan of the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist Church in Newburyport gave a blessing to “empower and energize communities to end domestic violence.”

She noted “there are those among us who were once victims and are now thriving,” as well as people who are still being abused “but are closer to taking the next step and knowing they are not alone.”

The center runs a 24-hour emergency hotline and provides crisis counseling, court advocacy, legal representation, emergency and transitional housing, and art therapy, according to Suzanne Dubus, CEO for the center.

For more on the center: https://jeannegeigercrisiscenter.org/.

The 24-hour hotline: 978-388-1888

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