Come April/May, I am walking/running the Cornish coast path from Rame Head in Plymouth to Hartland Point (480 km) as fast as my legs can take me. My progress will be logged on Strava, Instagram and on here!
The Cornish coast path is somewhere I regularly escape to - It is somewhere I feel at home, it is somewhere I feel safe, and running up all those darn hills in the rain is very empowering and builds my resilience. I am incredibly lucky to have this, since these are all things that aren't available for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Why this matters
There has been an increase in demand for domestic abuse victim services during the COVID pandemic, which is likely the result of an increase in the severity of abuse being experienced and a lack of available coping mechanisms, such as the ability to leave the home to escape the abuse, or attend counselling (Office for National Statistics). Lockdowns have likely made relationships more intense, and cut off potential support networks. It has become harder to maintain a stable income, which probably makes it harder to leave a perpetrator. The crimes victims have suffered coupled with the effects of lockdown has been detrimental to mental health, causing a number to attempt suicide. At the same time, restrictions have made it more difficult to reach victims and give support.
First Light provides domestic abuse and sexual violence support for children, young people and adults both in times of crisis and through recovery, operating in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Swindon and Wiltshire. Since the pandemic, helpline calls are up by about a third and the demand for services has never been greater.
What First Light does:
- Educate and Prevent - through early intervention, training and campaigning
- Protect and Support - through the provision of services to help safeguard and reach out to those suffering Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
- Cope and Recover - by providing a full range of services to help people build resilience and move on to healthier happier lives
- Give a Voice - to those who suffer in silence and influence others to bring about positive change
We'd love your support for this cause, whether that's in the form of donations, volunteering with the charity, or simply publicizing this challenge and the charity!