RUNNING Against Violence Wonthaggi Road Runners (WRR) have embarked on a 1300km journey to spread awareness and hope for those suffering through any form of violence.

Nicki Robson shared the event to the WRR and was overwhelmed with members wishing to participate.

“We ended up with four teams of ten and three team captains,” Nicki said.

“By breaking the silence and encouraging people to learn about family violence, our hope is to remove the stigma and social barriers that prevent people asking for help,” she said.

Teams will will travel 1300km between August 30 and September 17. They started at Broken Hill and finishing in Sydney, raising funds along the way.

One team captain Donna Lancasters left an abusive relationship in 2015.

“I share my story as listening to someone else, was enough to inspire me to make the scary steps to look into leaving,” Donna said.

“Leaving is actually the hardest part and by talking about it, about the challenges people face and stigma associated with it helps to inform others how they can be helped,” she said.

“I’d lost my job, partially due to the stresses at home and had no money to try to rent somewhere else. I felt completely trapped.

Donnas said Victoria Police have changed their approach to domestic abuse.

“Now the perpetrator, not the victim has to leave,” she said.

“By doing this run and sharing the stories and the message that this behaviour isn’t acceptable, we are starting conversations, raising awareness and helping to change behaviours,” Donna said.

The virtual challenge aims to raise $20,000 for Run Against Violence to invest in an existing childhood family education violence program.

To donate visit the team’s fundraising page.