The unique Bike, Laugh, Heal comedy tour is setting out to raise awareness and spirits with the novel approach of combining stand-up comedy and domestic violence. Comedian Mara Marek had a little idea to bike across the country to headline these shows in an effort to break the continuous cycles of abuse while making people laugh.
When you think of comedy, you probably don't think of tragic circumstances and feelings of hopelessness. You don't think of the death and the physical beating of women and children. And you certainly don't think of men who are also physically or emotionally abused by their romantic partners no matter how "tough" they may seem. The negative effects of domestic violence immensely effect its victim's lives' and is a worldwide epidemic. The combination of comedy and domestic violence makes it all a little bit easier to talk about.
They say laughter is the best medicine and Mara really does believe that. Her cross-country bike tour will not only test her, but it'll hopefully bring a few smiles to someone who really needs it. Marek is riding her bike across the country (sometimes more than 90 miles a day!) traveling from city to city performing her unique brand of comedy all in the name of awareness, education, and hope. She wants to break the stigma victims deal with and help any possible or potential victims get help. Simply talking about it will do just that. She is also chronicling her journey on her personal blog.
Mara began her two-month long tour on August 13th in New York City where she is based. So far, she's already biked through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. The tour will end in San Francisco, on October 25th. Find all of the remaining dates and buy tickets here. She'll be making her way west so definitely check it out if you're west of the Missippi.
Mara also hosts the popular podcast Happily Never After, a humorous show that takes a look at divorce from different angles. As a three-time divorcee, she uses her own experience for her show. Her podcast co-host Andrew Collin, a child of divorce, will be joining her for parts of the tour and giving a much needed male perspective and support.
Domestic violence is generally the use of negative behavior to influence for one person in a relationship to control the other. It does not discriminate and victims can be gay, straight, male, female, white, black, brown, or any color under the sun. Domestic violence exists in all cultures and lives in all socioeconomic background. Even if you think you don't know anyone who is a victim, you're probably wrong.
We likely all know somebody has been a victim of domestic violence in any form. This can include mental or emotional abuse, as well as physical or sexual abuse. Wherever there are people, unhealthy and abusive relationships exist. Mara has seen this and has even experienced it and she never wants anyone else too.
Bike, Laugh, Heal will also be teaming up with organizations that are committed to healthy relationships for all. These organizations provide guidance, assistance, and a safe space for all. They've already helped out Women Against Abuse and Safe Horizons who are also committed to fighting this issue.
While we can never be certain there will be a complete banishment of domestic violence, we can be sure that the awareness and hope brought by this tour will save at least one person, and hopefully many more. Breaking the cycle is key to ridding the world of domestic violence and any effort to do that is worth taking. Support and see Bike, Laugh, Heal if you can!