8K Undercliff Run in aid of Rise

Undercliff RunEnjoy the camaraderie of running with 400 other women alongside the expanse of the sea as you raise money to help families affected by domestic abuse in Brighton & Hove. The Rise 8K Undercliff Run for Women on Sunday 17 October is a unique, women only, run from Saltdean to Rottingdean and back in co-operation with the Brighton Women’s Running Club.

1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetimes and 90% of children are in the same or next room when violence occurs. Help Rise by running to raise money to help women and children in your community who are living in fear. If you are looking for an even bigger challenge Rise is offering a limited number of places on their Charity Challenge. Open to men and women, the Charity Challenge offers guaranteed places in 3 local runs – either the 8K Undercliff or the Brooks Brighton 10K, followed by the Beacon Half Marathon in February and culminating in the Brighton Marathon. Runners will be supported with motivational, training and fitness support to reach their goal. Naturally there will also be medals, goody bags and all the other fluffy bits!

Along with refuge accommodation, Rise (refuge, information, support and education) offers crisis appointments, helpline, counselling, housing, legal and financial advice, solicitors’ appointments, support groups, play therapy and 1-to-1 support. Most of these services are free but it costs over £3000 every day to keep these vital, life-saving services available for local families. Rise Brighton & Hove Refuge is unique in taking high risk clients including those suffering from mental health or substance misuse problems – clients that other refuges are not equipped to accept. Rise offers help and support in Brighton & Hove and across West Sussex.

Living with or leaving an abusive relationship is complex, sometimes dangerous and never easy.

J (25) was a resident in a Rise refuge for nearly a year. “I have to tell you that experiencing domestic violence firsthand was a huge shock to me. Naively I believed that it could not happen to me. Insecurity, tiredness and other circumstances made a perfect combination of factors that made it so easy to enter the relationship and before I knew it, I experienced physical violence that horrifies me now that I think about it. It horrified me then also, but I was not ready to change anything.”

For J finding out she was pregnant was a turning point. “I secretly hoped that being pregnant would make the violence stop. Later I found out that violence generally increases during pregnancy. When it happened again I escaped. I took my passport, all the money that I had, keys and few bits of clothing, as well as one book to keep my mind busy.” J went to her GP who referred her to the housing department and from there to a Rise refuge. “I remember that when I arrived I cried so much, thinking how I will have a nice, quiet, peaceful place to sleep in, without any fear or abuse.”

In the refuge J received practical help but also support to rebuild her self-esteem and confidence. “I have a beautiful baby who is a joy and brings happiness to me every day. I am happy and satisfied with my life and am going to college! Before receiving help from Rise I lived day by day, in fear. Without their help, I would be in a very different situation today.”

If you are a woman in need of help call the Rise Helpline 01273 622822. For information about Rise services or to register for the Rise 8K Undercliff Run for Women visit www.riseuk.org.uk.

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