Legacy Run to End Family Violence

So, I did a thing. I signed the Bear and I up for a 5km run on May 15th which is absolutely terrifying but also the kick in the butt that I need to start working out. We always have the option to walk but my preference would be a combination of walking and running. It’s been about 9-10 years since I ran my last race and I do miss the feeling of accomplishment once I’ve finished, so here goes.

The Airdrie Legacy Run to End Family Violence is near and dear to my heart. Anyone who knows my story knows my experience with domestic violence. This run helps build awareness around the subject which still faces a lot of stigma. It also helps raise funds for Community Links which helps to support women and families fleeing violence (I should note that men can also experience domestic violence and be trying to leave.).

There are lots of barriers to leaving, it’s a complex issue that many people who haven’t experienced family violence don’t understand.

  1. Financial – The survivor (I don’t like the term victim) doesn’t have access to the family money or have financial security and stability.
  2. Children – Some survivors believe it is in the children’s best interest to have two parents in the home, particularly if the abuser does not physically assault the child(ren). This is something that the abuser will play on.
  3. Cultural and Racial Pressures
  4. Gaslighting
  5. Threats – The abuser will threaten the survivor’s life and the life of the children as an attempt to prevent them from leaving. Statistics show that survivors are most at risk of severe violence or death when they are attempting to leave the home. Every six days a woman in Canada is killed by a current of former partner according to the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters.
  6. Living arrangements – Some survivors don’t have friends of family that they can stay with. Women’s shelters run at full capacity all the time and there may be a wait list which can be a deterrent.
  7. Pets – Pets are family and survivors don’t want to leave them behind, fearing the abuser will attack the pet. It is a real consideration whether the survivor and the family (it’s not always a family, it can be a sole adult), can take the pet. Some shelters allow pets, some veterinary clinics will board animals if they are made aware of the situation.
  8. Resources – Some survivors aren’t aware of the resources available to them.
  9. Denial – Sometimes survivors don’t or can’t admit that they’re being abused. Abuse comes in more forms than just physical. There’s financial, emotional, and sexual abuse to.

There’s plenty more reasons but I wanted to capture a few.

So, I want to run for those fleeing domestic violence. I want to run to heal my soul. I want to run to help my daughter understand the perils of toxic relationships as she starts to venture into the world of dating.

It’s worth the aches and pains that I’m going to experience as I try to train for this run. My thighs are sore just thinking about it. I’m trying to think if I have yoga pants I can run in that won’t slip down my ass as this bloated body moves. Hmmm underwear will be important to. I know it sounds silly, but I’m also worried about how I’ll look running, like a hippo. Sigh. It’s embarrassing but obviously something that I have to get over. It is what it is.

One bonus that I have working in my favour is that I’ve dramatically increased my water intake and the ADHD medication that I’m on, Vyvanse, is an appetite suppressant so I haven’t been snacking or over-eating (I’m hoping this equates to some weight loss). Last night I took the Bear to get ice cream and didn’t get any snacks for myself. Big win!

I meant for this blog to be light and fun, mostly focusing on my impending training journey and the follies that will almost certainly follow. But I think the message that domestic violence can happen to anyone, any gender, any race, any profession, any economic status, is really important and deserves some attention and awareness. Odds are, someone you know or have met is experiencing domestic violence.

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