Naracoorte participant in ‘virtual run’ for domestic violence

Two South East teams have been involved in a “virtual run” for a good cause.

Run Against Violence is a 100 per cent volunteer member association established to use running and other sporting activities as a conduit for educating and engaging communities in family violence prevention.

It all started in 2014 when Kirrily Dear did a 860km solo run to raise awareness for intimate partner violence and its impact on the community.

This year Kirrily is running 1300km from Broken Hill to Sydney to give a voice to the often silent victims of domestic violence – the children.

In conjunction with Kirrily’s solo run, the Steps Together Virtual Challenge was also set up, involving teams of 10 members banding together to take on the 1300km journey.

Starting on August 30 and finishing on September 17, teams combined to walk or run 1300km. Distances were measured on their electronic devices and uploaded onto an online map. Runners tracked their team’s progress, while also tracking Kirrily and other teams in the challenge.

Over 200 teams registered and took part in the challenge – over 2000 people joining together for Run Against Violence.

Local organiser Jane Read explained how she came to be interested in the event, and how Naracoorte’s Carolyn Rossgregor and others came to be involved.

“A few months ago I saw a virtual running event advertised on Facebook. I thought it looked like a good challenge, and it was for a fantastic cause, so I asked if anyone would be interested in joining me.

“Within a few hours we had one team, and in just over one day we had two teams. I was blown away by the huge and immediate response I received.

“Our teams consisted of 20 Limestone Coast residents from Mount Gambier, Mil Lel, Allendale, Millicent and Naracoorte.

“Aged in our 30s to 50s, there were 19 women and one man; we are all parents, with one grandma.”

Jane said the team members were all very passionate about the cause.

“Some members of our team have experienced family violence personally, others have witnessed it or dealt with the consequences through their work. Some have no personal experiences, but we are all determined to make a change.”

“As we ran, we thought of Kirrily Dear and how much pain she must be in. We are averaging 7km/day.

“Kirrily is averaging 70-80km/day for 19 days! That is almost two marathons a day! This is a super-human effort.”

Jane said people could still support the cause by visiting https://stepstogetherultramarathon.gofundraise.com.au/page/BelindaSeaman, or go to the Go Fundraise website and search for Belinda Seaman.

Fast facts:

  • Every 3 minutes Australian Police are responding to an incident of family violence.
  • Intimate partner violence is the most common form of family violence.
  • Relevant to any gender or age – victims 75 per cent female, 25 per cent male.
  • 1 in 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them.
  • Over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.
  • 1 in 4 children are exposed to domestic violence.