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Hackney girl speaks out about domestic abuse to break down stigma

PUBLISHED: 11:10 21 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:04 21 May 2013

Charity runner Anna Rickman.

Charity runner Anna Rickman.

Archant

A brave young woman is sharing her personal story of domestic abuse to help raise awareness as well as thousands of pounds for its victims in the process.

Anna Rickman, 24, is currently in training for the BUPA London 10,000, and is running around Finsbury Park, Clissold Park and all over Hackney to prepare for the 10km run on Saturday May 26 to raise money for Refuge.

“This cause is particularly close to my heart, I suffered from domestic abuse growing up,” said Ms Rickman, who is hoping the run help her healing process.

Sharing her story publicly has been particularly scary: “The shame and guilt felt by victims of domestic abuse often prevents them from speaking out, and seeking help,” the Brownswood Road, Finsbury Park, resident said.

“But I want my example to give others courage, to try to prevent as many people as possible from feeling they have to suffer in silence.

“The damage it causes is irreparable, the scars are permanent.

“I used not to be able to look in the mirror without seeing someone disfigured with loneliness, guilt, and shame.”

Ms Rickman feels she is finally starting to heal the scars through talking about her past.

“I believe that the ignorance there is around the matter of domestic abuse – how common it is, the devastating and irreparable damage it causes, how to help – is due to the misapprehension that it should be kept as a private matter, behind closed doors.

“This attitude is dangerous and compounds the damage caused,” she said.

“I would like to use my participation in this run as a means of starting to be open about a subject which I have always felt to be a debilitating personal secret.

“The fact that abuse is generally seen to be, responded to, and thus felt by victims as something private, shameful, not to be spoken of, is the reason I have always felt alone, despite the alarming fact that one in four women have, or will suffer from it in their lifetimes.”

To donate see https://www.justgiving.com/Anna-Teresa/

Ms Rickman is holding a fundraising pub quiz tomorrow, Wednesday May 22, at the Daniel Dafoe in Stoke Newington, with a raffle on the night with prizes including premier league football tickets, and food and wine from Le Parc deli.


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