Seven marathons in seven days shows commitment from several advocacy groups walking, talking and working towards stopping sexual violence in Aotearoa, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis.
“The Seven7 Challenge brings together iwi and advocates dedicated to stopping sexual violence. It’s a continuation of the hikoi I led last year. We walked the length of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate from Auckland to Cape Reinga highlighting the help required to manage the damaging impact of sexual violence.
"There are a number of key messages we’ll be advocating. It’s time to acknowledge sexual violence is rife in so many isolated communities throughout the country and the harm inflicted by the offenders is causing life-long damage.
“It is also important to end the secrecy and encourage safer options for sexual violence survivors to speak out. It’s also vital that people who witness these horrible acts speak out.
“I’m committed to walking 40 kilometres around Kaitaia each day and I’ll be supported by Kaikohe Pastor Mike Shaw, Ngati Whatua leader Anthony Thompson and the sexual violence advocacy group Korowai Tumanako.
“Anthony Thompson says the safety of his Ngati Whatua whanau is a great concern and he wants his iwi to take a lead role in highlighting the need to stop sexual violence.
“Pastor Mike Shaw says the marathon theme is to eliminate sexual violence in the long term.. It’s going to take commitment and endurance. But if we break it down into small steps and everyone do what they can, together we will get there.
“Russell Smith and Joy Te Wiata of Korowai Tumanako say their central message is together we can prevent sexual violence and as a whole community we can achieve this.
"The Seven7 Challenge starts on Sunday the 23rd October and I’ll be leaving from Awanui School walking to Kaitaia. Just put on your walking shoes and join in, the more the merrier,” says Kelvin Davis.