From left, Jayne Sandman, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and Barbara Martin at the Knock Out Abuse Against Women’s annual gala on Thursday in Washington. (Ben Droz)
The night was personal for many in the audience at the Ritz-Carlton on Thursday as hundreds of Washington power brokers gathered in their ball gowns for what was not just another fancy affair (though it certainly was that).
Co-host Barbara Martin, along with her BrandLinkDC business partner, Jayne Sandman, laid the emotional groundwork for the evening in the West End with a deeply personal “off the record” speech that she described as a “a little conversation between you and me.”
The gala’s attendees, including Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), Drybar founder Alli Webb, ABC7’s Jummy Olabanji and Fiola Mare co-owner Maria Trabocchi, took the night’s message — that violence against women is everywhere, including in the discourse of the 2016 presidential campaign — and put their money where their outrage was. At one point, the organization raised $25,000 in just three minutes.
Knock out Abuse is a Washington, DC based organization that envisions a community free from domestic violence. Knock Out Abuse leverages its extensive network of corporate, retail and philanthropic partners to strengthen and support organizations that serve women and children who are victims of domestic violence in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Our organization works with its passionate supporters to bring attention to the devastating effect of domestic violence on its victims, their families and our community.
Since 1993, Knock Out Abuse has raised over $9 million to provide transformational support to more than 22,000 women and children whose lives have been shattered by abuse, poverty and homelessness. Through our direct service providers Bethany House of Northern Virginia, Safe Shores, Crossway Community and the DC Volunteer Lawyer Project, these women and children receive counseling, long and short-term housing, legal assistance and necessary resources to help them live happy, healthy and successful lives.