While on his mission in Ukraine, a BYU student saw a woman bloody and beaten at a bus stop. Despite being abused by her husband, the woman was headed back home because she had nowhere else to go.
Zack Oates decided to create Courage to Hope, a nonprofit organization. The organization will hold an event called “An Evening in Moscow” to raise awareness and money to support victims of domestic abuse in Eastern Europe. This event has taken place in previous years and will feature Russian music and art in the Springville Museum of Art on May 2.
Jen Lee, a BYU graduate from Calgary, Alberta, has participated in the event in years past. The organization helps spread the message that women suffer abuse around the world without anywhere to turn.
“One in three women worldwide are victims of domestic abuse,” Lee said.
According to Lee, there are statistics suggesting more than 50 percent of women have been abused in Ukraine. Despite this, Lee said there are only a handful of women’s shelters in the entire country.
Bret Martineaux began working on the event three years ago and is one of the program directors. While Martineaux acknowledged the issues in Eastern Europe, he said the majority of the time will be dedicated to Russian music and culture rather than facts about domestic abuse.
“The event is meant to be a cultural experience,” he said. “We are not trying to overwhelm people with disturbing facts and images.”
Ty Clive, PDbio major, will serve as the concert program director for the event. He said many of the artists scheduled to play have attended prestigious music schools and those in attendance should expect high quality music.
“We want to have as close to a world-class concert that we can get,” Clive said.
Tickets to the event are free, but the organization suggests a donation of $15. The money will be used to fund job training, manicure and therapy classes for abused women in Eastern Europe.