Today is White Ribbon Day and to support the cause, one Te Arawa woman is taking to the road to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Kahira Te Rata Olley (Te Arawa) is a survivor of sexual and domestic abuse and hopes to inspire others who have experienced similar situations. She left Rotorua this morning on her “Running to Stop It” campaign.
Olley says, “Abuse should not be accepted with in our families it shouldn't be your normally we all deserves to live in a life where you are cared for where you are protected respected and most importantly loved.”
Minister for Māori Development and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell also got behind the campaign.
He says, “We should thank her for raising awareness about this issue in our Māori communities and around country as she was a victim of abuse herself."
Rotorua Police also plan to hold a relay from Rotorua to Taupō in support of the Running to Stop it campaign. Olley also welcomes others to join her in her journey.
“If whānau meet us you know as we go into each town, that's not a problem we just ask that there's no children and obviously safety is first and foremost,” she says.
Olley will cover 250km from Rotorua to the Hastings area - that's about a four to five day journey.
With her support team, she is running in stages and hopes to talk to the communities she passes along the way.