Hello! It's me again: world's least competitive Jogger-in-Chief, usually found being towed up country hills by a mad labrador while sporting a mish mash of neon running bargains.
This will be my third London Marathon for Refuge and if you're reading this you've probably sponsored me before and are thinking "really, Kate? AGAIN?!!" I was quite determined to have a year off (largely because I felt bad about asking you for more money) until, in an overwhelming pre-Christmas fit of carpe diem and "I have legs to run with! I am alive! I am gloriously free to do as I choose!", I decided that supporting this incredible charity is not something to feel guilty about and I should jolly well go for it.
So here we are. This year I have a couple of new ideas up my sleeve to reach my fundraising target (more on those later), but if you would like to sponsor me for just running those 26.2 miles, I'd honestly would appreciate it more than you can possibly imagine.
I'm running for Refuge because I have experienced an abusive relationship myself. I am fairly certain that without the support of my family and friends, without being able to afford lots of private therapy, and in no small part without that storyline on the Archers (which was so painful to hear that, for a while, I actually stopped listening to my favourite rural drama for the first time this millennium), I would still be in that relationship. Refuge is there for anyone who needs their support. Helping those who have experienced violence and abuse is at the core of everything they do, including domestic violence, sexual violence, ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, FGM, human trafficking or modern slavery.
Running for Refuge has been hugely therapeutic for me. It's enabled me to talk about what happened and taught me that, while I can't ever magic myself back into being the person I was before, I can do things with my life that I would never have imagined were possible; that what I went through can motivate me to do something positive. So I'm doing this for anyone out there who has experienced an abusive relationship or is living in one right now. I am unashamedly going to keep talking about domestic abuse, because the more I do, the more I realise how many women I know have been through something similar - we just don't speak about it.
Please read this page on Refuge's website about recognising abuse: https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/recognising-abuse/
One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her lifetime and two women are killed each week in England and Wales by a current or former partner. Refuge supports around 6,000 women & children on any given day, experiencing domestic and sexual violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, stalking, trafficking, prostitution & so-called ‘honour’ based violence. By kindly sponsoring me today you are helping to save and change the lives of thousands of women and children escaping domestic violence.
Thank you so much.