FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2008
Olympic Diving Champion Greg Louganis to Appear in Alexandria October 3
Four-Time Gold Medal Winner Speaks About His Triumph over Intimate Partner Abuse
The Alexandria Domestic Violence Program (DVP) and Sexual Assault Response and Awareness (SARA) Program invite the public to a special evening on Friday, October 3 to hear Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis speak about his experience of surviving domestic violence. Many remember Louganis’ amazing athletic achievements, but few are aware he is a survivor of intimate partner violence.
"Intimate partner violence happens more than we want to admit, and, unfortunately, it happens as often in gay and lesbian relationships as it does in heterosexual relationships,” says Louganis. “I hope that my story will raise awareness about violence in the community and signal to everyone that we need to work together to end the violence.”
Louganis is best known for winning back-to-back Olympic titles in both the 3- and 10-meter diving events. In the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Louganis won gold medals in both the springboard and tower diving events and repeated the achievement in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In Louganis’ 1995 autobiography, Breaking the Surface, Louganis revealed publicly the domestic abuse and rape he suffered and that he is HIV-positive.
This free event will be held at the Hilton Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Rd. The evening begins with a silent auction to benefit the DVP and SARA programs at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. Seating is limited, so the public is requested to RSVP to reserve their space at 703.746.5030. Free parking will be available in the hotel garage.
The event is being coordinated by the Alexandria Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) Victim Services Advisory Board, sponsored by the Alexandria Domestic Violence Intervention Project, and supported by grant funding from the federal Office on Violence Against Women and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Victim Fund. Support is available to LGBTQ survivors of sexual or domestic violence 24-hours a day; the Domestic Violence Hotline is 703.838.4911 and the Sexual Violence Hotline is 703.683.7273. For general information, please visit www.alexwomen.com, call 703.746.5030, or listen to an audio podcast interview with Karen Gautney, Chair of the LGBTQ Victim Services Advisory Board, at alexandriava.gov/podcasts.