Gear up for good

Artemis Gone Riding combats domestic violence

By Alyssa Reck

Photo: Members of the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Dayton stop for swag during the 2013 Artemis Gone Riding event; photo: Peter Wine

Teams of bike riders dressed up in jail outfits and boas pedal their way along the bike path, stopping every few miles to be pampered at Swag Stops. This is the scene at the Artemis Gone Riding event, being held Saturday, Sept. 13, which seeks to raise awareness and support against domestic violence.

There are four different bike path lengths, the longest being 14 miles down and 14 miles back, totaling 28 miles. Other bike path lengths are 10, 16 and 22 total miles.

“It’s not a race, it’s not timed,” Erin Cole, development director at the Artemis Center, said. “It’s meant to get people together, form pedal crews.”

The bike riding can be non-stop or riders can pull off the bike path for a while.

Those that enjoy being pampered should suit up for the ride and stop at the Swag Stops. The Swag Stops will have vendors, activities, hand massages, belly dancing lessons, food and a chocolate fountain. There are also other surprises along the way.

Though the rideisn’t timed, there are still opportunities for awards. Prizes for the largest team, top fundraising individual, top fundraising team, best costume team and best costume individual will be awarded.

Last year, more than 300 women cycled against domestic violence at the Girls Gone Riding event, but this year the Artemis Center decided to switch things up by including men in the ride.

“We have to recognize the male allies in our community,” Cole said. “We acknowledge there are men that need our assistance.”

Cole said there is a stigma about men voicing abuse and it can make it very difficult for them to come forward to ask for help.

“Our doors are open to everyone,” she said.

If individuals or businesses can’t come out to participate or volunteer, there are still ways to sponsor a rider or team or donate. There are also volunteer opportunities on the site.

History of the Artemis Center

A group of women established the Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence in June 1985, before changing the name to the Artemis House.

The founders of the Artemis Center saw a need for a safe haven for victims fleeing from domestic violence. Those victims came to the Artemis Center for a safe place and become empowered to make their own decisions. Some victims came by themselves and others came with their children. Since the Artemis Center opened, over 85,000 victims have been saved through crisis intervention, safety planning, education and support.

In 1993, Artemis and the YWCA formed the Family Violence Collaborative, which brings together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protection and health, and healthcare professionals to assist victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence can range from willful intimidation to physical assault and other abusive behavior. According to the Artemis Center website, the result of domestic violence can be physical injury and, at worst, death.

According to Cole, about 34.5 percent of Artemis Center cases are walk-ins.

Cole emphasized the vast need in the community for the center’s programming, and the center is looking to see if there is a trend in the increase in domestic violence cases.

“It’s showing our services are crucial,” said Cole.

While the center serves upward of 6,000 clients a year, the staff isn’t as large as one might think.

“We have a staff of 18, so our advocates work extremely hard and it’s beyond me the level of dedication,” said Cole. “It’s phenomenal.”

The Artemis Gone Riding event is just one way to get involved with the center. Other events include Hops for Hope, Mardi Gras Krewe and the Breaking the Cycle Benefit Breakfast, held Oct. 30.

“There are lots of ways to help us,” Cole said.

Some of these ways include donations, giving to the food and basic needs pantries, volunteering and participating in the leadership society – a new program designed to inform the public about how to become more impactful supporters.

“We are expanding our community outreach,” Cole said.

The Artemis Center provides its services free to victims of domestic violence and their children. Some of those services include a 24-hour hotline, advocacy, legal assistance, children’s therapy, support groups and crisis intervention.

Artemis Gone Riding begins with an 8 a.m. check-in on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the University of Dayton U Lot on River Park Drive. Registration is $35. For more information, please visit The Artemis Center is located at 310 W. Monument Ave. For more information about the center, please call 937.461.5091 or visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Alyssa Reck at

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