Topic: Domestic Violence

Victim of abuse set for 250km run to raise awareness

By Mere McLean
  • North Island: East Coast

Kahira Rata-Olley wants to speak out about domestic and sexual abuse.  The Rotorua mother was a victim of abuse for many years and is preparing to run 250km to raise awareness about domestic and sexual abuse in NZ. 

She says, “I lived in a violent environment for almost fifteen years but it didn't just affect me, it affected by children and out of everything that's the thing I have to carry is that guilt that I chose to live in a violent relationship.”

She's heading a campaign called “Running to Stop It."  On November 25, she plans to run from Rotorua to Flaxmere, one place where she was abused.

“For years, I was a prisoner too secretly you know, don't say anything - you are going to tear our whānau apart.  You know, don't worry about her, she's all kaka and one day I woke up and I said no way, there's no way I'm going to stud my mouth anymore,” explained Rata-Olley.

She hopes to make this run a biennial event.  She finds inspiration in her children and grandchildren.  She says the campaign is for the future of our children.

“Sometimes you just need to do something really crazy to be heard and I'm lucky to be here to tell my story,” said Rata-Olley.

She also welcomes anyone wishing to take part in her journey.

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