Yoga studio to host class, raise money to help rape victims

Yoga studio to host class, raise money to help rape victims

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - RICHMOND, V.A. (WWBT)- There's a yoga studio in Richmond's south side doing more than helping people reach their zen, it's also trying to help thousands of rape victims.

Lunge Yoga, located on Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond, will host three donation-based classes on Saturday to raise money for the nonprofit, End The Backlog.

Katie Santoro, the owner of Lunge Yoga, came up with the idea.

"I think it's a great organization," Santoro said. "I think it's important, getting justice for people and getting criminals off the street who are victimizing men and women."

Santoro opened Lunge Yoga in May, fulfilling one of her life dreams.

"I think everyone needs yoga," Santoro said. "It brings me a sense of peace and I wanted to share that with everyone."

End the Backlog is a nonprofit working to reduce the number of untested rape kits, not just in Virginia, but all across the country. According to their website, End The Backlog, "is a program of the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national non-profit organization founded by actress and activist Mariska Hargitay with the mission to transform society's response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors' healing, and end this violence forever."

Virginia leaders have also been working to end the rape kit back log for the last several years. Since 2014, several laws have been enacted to speed up the testing of rape kits and prosecute the attackers. But there's still work to be done, which is why Santoro is hosting yoga classes to benefit the cause.

The classes will be held on Saturday, September 8th at 4 p.m. and Sunday, September 9th at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

These classes are completely full, but Santoro plans to host more in the future.

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