In the Spotlight: Karen King
Do you run solo or with a group?
Both! Most of the time I run by myself but once a week I run for 10km with a group followed by a coffee. On the weekend, I do long and short runs with other friends. Part of it is to keep fit and the other part is for the social side. I’ve been running since about 2012.
How did you hear about RAV?
A friend put up a link on Facebook, saying she was going to create a team for the Virtual Challenge. She shared what Kirrily was about to do [run 1300km to raise awareness of family violence] and I signed up straightaway.
How do you think the Virtual Challenge helps people affected by domestic violence?
From what I know, people who are subjected to domestic violence find it hard to talk about it. My Facebook friends and people from my work knew that I was doing this challenge, especially when I wore the RAV singlet on my runs. If anyone I knew was experiencing domestic violence, they would be able to see that there were people who could help them.
Did your participation in the Virtual Challenge impact your life in any way?
A few months after the run, I learned that a family member was experiencing domestic violence. The RAV experience helped me to be brave enough to talk to her about it. Once, I might have thought I shouldn’t interfere. Now, because I’ve seen some of the RAV videos and learnt more about the issue, I know you should try to start a conversation with them. Long story short, she was considering getting out of that relationship, but I urged her not to wait. I said to her, “You deserve better.” That very night, he got physical again and she called the police straightaway. She received help from a local community organisation, the police and other family members. I was grateful she was not harmed and was able to get a new start.
What was your take-home feeling about the Virtual Challenge?
I just wanted to be part of this incredible event and hopefully help just one person find their way out of a bad situation. To know hundreds and hundreds of people were sharing Kirrily’s journey was very humbling. Sometimes we think as individuals we can’t make a difference, but we can. It’s like when that man got his leg trapped on a Perth train station platform and everyone came to his rescue*. On our own we may not be very strong but together we can move trains.
*You can witness the incredible act of community spirit to which Karen’s referring here.
Photos courtesy of Karen King. Thanks Karen!