A solo run has inspired hundreds of people to band together to campaign against domestic violence in our community.
On Sunday morning, 19 July 2020, the Chair of local charity Got Your Back Sista, Belinda Smith, ran 21 kilometres to help raise awareness of domestic violence and the services that the charity provides to help empower women and their children to thrive after experiencing violence.
Hundreds of people registered to raise funds as part of the charity’s 2020 Say No to Domestic Violence campaign with the community campaign raising over $50,000.
Belinda started her 21-kilometre run on Sunday morning at 7:00 am and ran through the inner suburbs of Newcastle, finishing at Empire Park in Bar Beach at 9:30 am.
Got Your Back Sista Founder, Melissa Histon, said that she was overwhelmed with the support of the local community during this campaign.
“In addition to Belinda, hundreds of people around our city were also doing their own run or walk to get behind the cause to let those who having been living with domestic violence know that our community supports them and encourages them to take the next step to get help,” she said.
“We are also hoping that this campaign raises awareness within the local community and spreads the message that domestic violence is never ok – it is not ok for one person to be violent to another. It must end!
“Real change comes when communities work together, and over the past few weeks we have seen the incredible efforts of so many who are committed to reducing violence in our community,” Melissa concluded.
The 2020 I Run for Her campaign is made possible due to the support of local businesses that believe violence is never okay.
These businesses include PD Insurance, Castle, HIC Services, OAS Minder, Purser Corporate Communication, Orica, Hunter Signs, the Newcastle Herald, City of Newcastle, and Peter Drayton Wines.
Together with individual fundraisers, Got Your Back Sista expects to raise just over $50,000.
These funds will be used for programs that include the purchase of household items for women that are establishing safe homes, mentoring and empowerment workshops, self-defense programs, as well as educational and skills courses.
IMAGE | Got Your Back Sista Founder, Melissa Histon and Chairperson, Belinda Smith.