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Bergstrom-Lynch raises more than $3,000 for domestic violence awareness

Published on December 06, 2021

Bergstrom-Lynch raises more than $3,000 for domestic violence awareness

Professor competes in 9th Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage

Sociology professor Cara Bergstrom-Lynch participated in her ninth race of the annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage.

Cara Bergstrom-Lynch, sociology professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, brought awareness to domestic violence on Dec. 5 by participating in Safe Passage's annual Hot Chocolate Run for the ninth consecutive year. Bergstrom-Lynch’s dedication to this 5k is in honor of Eastern student Alyssiah Wiley, who was murdered in 2013 by her ex-boyfriend.

Safe Passage is an organization in New Hampshire that brings attention to domestic violence and aids those who’ve experienced it. Along with running, Bergstrom-Lynch campaigned for donations for the organization.

“My Eastern friends and colleagues have always been very generous in their support of my participation in the Hot Chocolate Run,” said Bergstrom-Lynch. “I am always so humbled every year at the outpouring of support.”

The untimely death of Wiley stunned the Eastern community in 2013, and now almost nine years later, her memory is kept alive on campus by students and faculty. Bergstrom-Lynch shared how important it is for current and incoming students to know Wiley’s story.

Bergstrom-Lynch pictured with her family.

“These efforts are critical because they shed light on intimate partner violence.  If even one person hears Alyssiah’s story and can recognize aspects of their own life and get help or help someone else who is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, then this work will have meaning.

“I plan to keep running every year because domestic violence and sexual violence have devastating effects on our communities,” continued Bergstrom-Lynch. “I teach about these issues in my sociology classes and it gives me hope to spread awareness and to support the work that Safe Passage is doing.”

Bergstrom-Lynch’s raised $3,300 this year, making her one of the top fundraisers at the event. This amount is also the largest she has ever raised. To donate to her campaign, visit

Domestic violence includes physical abuse, threats, stalking and much more. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, visit the CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence at They can also be reached at (888) 774-2900 and have a 24/7 hotline for texts and calls.

Written by Bobbi Brown