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Maitland takes a stand against domestic abuse

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A newly-formed Lower Hunter organisation is determined to make a difference in countering one of society’s biggest issues.

Maitland Against Domestic Abuse (MADA) was established to raise awareness of the problem and coordinate links to services that specialise in providing support to individuals.

And, this weekend, it will host a Move For MADA fun run and free family event, comprising kids’ activities, food trucks and more, at the Maitland Regional Athletics Centre.

As well, it’s an opportunity for the organisation to procure funds to deal with the confronting and very real concerns of domestic abuse facing individuals and families in the community.

The Move for MADA event, sponsored by Tilly’s Childcare, CMC Foundation, Hume Community Housing, Carrie’s Place and Dragonfly Journey, kicks off from 9am on Sunday 26 May.

However, the fun run component will take place from 8am until 9am in the heart of Maitland.

People can participate by walking, running, pushing their pram or strolling around the track, or simply enjoy market stalls, music and, most importantly, access a range of information on hand.

“Having previously experienced domestic abuse, I’m extremely motivated to advocate for the support services available and to help others feel safe to reach out and get assistance,” a MADA committee member said.

“Looking back, I wish I was able to recognise the signs sooner.

“That’s why we’re bringing this event to the community and why we’re encouraging everyone to educate themselves on this important topic.

“All charity and non-government organisations specialising in domestic abuse support will receive a free stall at the event.

“They are making a vital impact in our community, providing resources for advocacy, education, housing and awareness.”

Statistics of 33,410 victims recorded by police to December 2023 represented above.

According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR), there have been significant increases in reports associated with domestic abuse across the Hunter.

In the Maitland LGA alone, between January 2019 and December 2023, those related assaults rose by 13.2%, with sexual assaults also climbing by 11.1% in the same time period.

“It’s crucial we take action now,” the spokesperson said.

“We need to play our role in making our community a safer place for all.

“Be a part of something bigger and show your support for an amazing cause.”

To register for the fun run, go to https://events.humanitix.com/move-for-mada-family-fun-day

MADA offers contact details and connections to the domestic violence and abuse preventative and crisis support services available to the local community.

For further details, visit mada.org.au

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