- Claire McFarlane
Who will virtual run with me in Singapore to end sexual violence?
A lot of time has passed since I first ran in Singapore for Footsteps To Inspire. It was back in March 2017 and Singapore was country 13. Wow, I’ve already reached 55 countries since then. Little did I know back then, the footprints I left along the beach of East Coast Park didn’t wash away, but rather grew into a movement of change for Singapore.
Yes, that’s right! I’m going to be running virtually in Singapore again this year, and it's for a very special reason - to end violence, especially sexual violence. It's a week-long awareness campaign called 'Let Our Voice Run’ and ties in with 16 Days of Activism. The virtual run will be on Sunday, 6 December.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a rape survivor from South Africa and Australia. I'm currently on a non profit mission to run 16km of beach in every country of the world with the goal of peacefully ending sexual violence. The project is called Footsteps To Inspire.
In each country I run, I connect with communities, organisations, government services and survivors with the vision to inspire healing, identify solutions, educate and create lasting change. Footsteps To Inspire is about nurturing and supporting local stakeholders in their efforts to help survivors, and this is how I envision leaving a long-lasting impact. I got to share more about this vision in a recent interview with Run Society.
Surveys in Singapore are revealing that violence is affecting many people and there is a need for conversation and understanding. One (1) in three (3) young people in Singapore have faced some form of sexual violence and close to half of the respondents indicated that they knew a victim of sexual violence.* Sexual violence still remains a difficult topic for communities to talk about, and that is why a local Singapore NGO called LCCS - Lutheran Community Care Services contacted me. They asked if I would be willing to partner in a local campaign to end violence. Of course I said yes.
Let Our Voice Run is focused on raising awareness, empowering individuals and sharing restoratives practices to help communities in Singapore deal with the impact of violence (especially sexual violence).
Let Our Voice Run starts this Monday, 30 November and ends with the virtual run on Sunday, 6 December. The program of activities provides options for everyone to be involved with info sessions and listening circles. I'm particularly proud of our webinar on 5 December: Healing Harm, Restoring Connection: The survivors’ experience and the experts’ experience comes together for an important discussion on child sexual abuse.
Click for the full program.
Join me for Let Our Voice Run Everyone is welcome and being virtual means you can connect from anywhere in the world. Awareness activities are free of charge. All funds raised from race entries and t-shirts for the virtual run will go towards restorative programs helping survivors of violence in Singapore.
If you are located out of Singapore, no worries, register for the free activities and make a donation in lieu of your race entry.
And even if you don’t care about Singapore, I could use your encouragement and support. I’ve pledged to run 16km for Let Our Voice Run. It’s going to be so hard! I haven't run a full 16km since before lock down in country 55. That's like 8 months ago.
Register and run with me or donate a dollar for every kilometre.
* (AWARE, 2015)