For the last five years, Carolyn Brothers has laced up her joggers and vowed to run against domestic violence.
The Run Against Violence aims to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Teams of up to 20 people commit to running, or walking, 1300 kilometres together - the distance between Broken Hill and Sydney, in honour of the first event. The 1300km also equates to 1.7 million steps, which is the number of Australians who will experience physical abuse before the age of 15.
Ms Brothers' team is comprised of members of her family, colleagues from Dubbo Christian School, the Dubbo Community Church pastor, and four people who didn't have a team to join.
As a team Brothers and Friends is not planning to stop once they virtually reach Sydney. Ms Brothers said the participants would continue to run until the even finishes on September 17.
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"I think the stigma and shame that exists around family violence is one that stops individuals seeking help and reaching out. I want to empower others to feel that I am in their corner and willing to stand with them in getting the support they need," Ms Brothers said.
"The concept of raising awareness through wearing my RAV shirt or buff while out walking and engaging others is one I really love. It is community in action."
She said domestic and family violence were simply far too high. In Dubbo, the number of reported domestic violence incidents is three times higher than the NSW average.
"Raising awareness in amongst the pandemic is crucial, as statistics from lockdown last year saw a spike in rates of family and domestic violence," Ms Brothers said.
"It seems strange for those that aren't exposed to the situation itself and don't know the stat's but there are people in our community where home is not a safe place. Another important aspect of family and domestic violence is that being situated in a rural setting, the rates of DFV are higher than those in the city. Not only are the rates higher, but the support services in regional areas are often stretched and under pressure.
"By raising awareness, I hope that our government can commit to resourcing greater access to support services in regional areas."
For the first time, as well as raising awareness, Ms Brothers is also raising money.
RAV has committed 50 per cent of funding raised to the Love Bites Respectful Relationships Program. It's a program facilitated by the National Association of Protection of Child Abuse and Neglect that Ms Brothers has already seen in action at school.
"In my time as a teacher I have come across students that are experiencing or have experienced domestic and family violence. It is my hope that through the fundraising, more Love Bites facilitators can be trained and introduced to schools across our region," she said.
Donations can be made via the Run Against Violence website.
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