PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The head of the Philadelphia Women Against Abuse will ride 35 miles this weekend to raise funds for the organization, whose services are needed more than ever.

As Women Against Abuse celebrates its 35th year in Philadelphia, executive director Jeannine Lisitski (in photo, left) says domestic violence has spiked to epidemic proportions in recent years.

She says domestic homicides nearly doubled in 2009, “At our shelter, we’ve had to turn away 6,000 requests for safe shelter. We’ve seen such a huge need and we’re unable to meet it.”

So she and her husband, John Carlson (in photo, right), will run and ride Sunday to raise funds to increase shelter and legal services for those victims of domestic violence.

“I’ll be riding my bike and my husband will be running 35 miles. The route is from Vineland to Sea Isle City, New Jersey. We thought that the run and ride was a great way to help celebrate our 35th anniversary as a symbol of the importance of health and well being that can only be achieved in the absence of violence in the home.”

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Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060

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