Coralie is a 23-year-old who recently moved to London. She decided to use her brilliant fundraising skills from university to raise money for Solace and run the iconic London Marathon. We’re so excited to have her on the team!
Whilst at university, I was Welfare Officer for St John’s College as part of different societies which raised £2,000 for breast cancer charities and £1,000 as part of a ‘Spin for Smart Works’ initiative.
I decided to apply for the London Marathon whilst sitting my finals during lockdown in 2020. I was studying for my gender and politics paper at the time, and writing my dissertation on different media representations of sexual violence during military conflict in Myanmar. As part of my studies, I focused on how austerity, the worsening housing crisis and funding cuts to specialist services were exacerbating the gendered crime of domestic abuse, where over 80% of repeat victims are women.
I was keeping track of VAWG, and realised how much worse Covid-19 was rendering the situation, with an increase in abuse. The extra funding provided by the government was a step in the right direction, however did not sufficiently recognise the severity of the situation, and so I wanted to do something to help. I know we all became more aware of these issues through lockdown, which saw rates of domestic abuse alarmingly skyrocket – the National Domestic Abuse helpline saw a 700% increase in calls in a single day!
Despite the need for services now, more than ever, cuts have left us with a system unable to help a vast majority of these women. Even before the pandemic began, 60% of referrals to refuges were turned away for a lack of space. I fear this will have only increased. And whilst the government announced £2 million to support domestic abuse helplines, this translates to just £0.95 per (English) victim.
There needs to be more progressive change to end domestic abuse. Whilst I’m conscious that it will take much more than me running a marathon for this change to happen, I would like to do what I can to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Therefore, I am pressing ahead with this marathon, as I can’t think of a more urgent cause to support. 1 in 3 women will experience abuse in their lifetime. If you have a bit going spare, I would be incredibly grateful for any donation you may be able to give.