Runners step out against violence

A group of locals are pounding the pavement in a bid to Run Against Violence.

They are among many Australian runners and walkers taking part in the fourth annual Run Against Violence Virtual Team Challenge, a nationwide movement to raise awareness of family violence by running 1300km.

Run Against Violence is a volunteer organisation aiming to end the silence through constructive conversations around family violence.

In 2020 the challenge raised $120,000 and had 3000 participants. This year, the goal is $180,000.

Mount Gambier resident Belinda Seaman is one person making every step count.

Ms Seaman’s group is comprised of 3 teams – Blue Streak, Waddling Ducks and S.W.A.T.T.

“We have a few teammates coming back for their fourth year, with some first timers,” she said.

“Our members range in age from their 20s to 60s with most from the Limestone Coast, with a few recruits from across the country.

“There are also two Naracoorte teams and many other locals or ex-locals in other teams I know of.

“There’s great support here.”

Ms Seaman said during COVID, most members were achieving their kilometres solo whether they were out on the roads, trails or treadmills.

“In short, we’re using running and walking to start conversations about family violence on a local level,” she said.

“If every town has a team, the conversation will start everywhere.

“By starting conversations, we help people feel less isolated and more able to reach out for help.

“Do not be fooled – you almost certainly know at least one person who has been affected or is currently affected by family violence.

“Each year we are shocked and saddened by the stories we hear, but at the same time so proud of the survivors who are speaking out and sharing their stories to help others.”

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