Survivor seeks to raise domestic violence awareness

MILWAUKEE -- Two teams dashed up and down the court at the Parklawn YMCA Saturday. They played for neither prizes nor pride. Instead, they knocked down shots to raise money and awareness for survivors of domestic violence.

"I'm a 12-year domestic violence survivor," said the event's organizer, Jodine Basterash, "I went through ten years of physical, domestic violence and two years of emotional. So last year, I decided to step out and start bringing more awareness to the cause."

Basterash says she's now comfortable sharing her story publicly. She targets a young audience with her words.

"We have teens going through domestic violence and don't realize it," she said, "They think it's cute or they think a boy loves them if he hits them or calls them a derogatory name and that's not love."

Basterash's push began last year with a forum. It expanded to the hardwood this year as she found plenty of men willing to help her out.

"Just to kind of put a face on it that not all guys are hitting or abusing women," said Marc Brown, who took part in the charity game.

Each $10 ticket brought Basterash closer to the $3,000 goal she set for the weekend. She hopes her work will teach young women one thing, if nothing else.

"Realizing and understanding, knowing, that it is never, ever your fault," she said.

The basketball game was just one-third of Saturday's events. The day began with a walk and ended at the Scottish Rite theater with a play based on Basterash's life. She says the donations will be split between the Sojourner Family Peace Center, Loving Me 1st, and Asha Family Services.