Survivors of abuse take to the roads to raise awareness 

Sam Troth, with support from Patricia Walsh, just completed a gruelling challenge in cycling 2,000km around the South Island to generate support for survivors of abuse.

 

The Survivor Experiences Service partnered with The Road To Healing Aotearoa to help destigmatize abuse and to encourage survivors to seek help. Troth and Walsh are both survivors of abuse in state and faith-based care. 
 
“The road to healing is a long road. I’ve been on the journey for over 25 years and I’m still going through it today,” says survivor Sam Troth, from The Road To Healing Aotearoa.

“Cycling 2,000km around the South Island represents a survivor’s journey – its bloody hard, with lots of challenges, rough terrain, and at times you just want to give up. But I’m hoping that this will inspire other survivors to keep pushing forward, to have hope, and to seek help if they need it.

“Male survivors in particular take longer to disclose sexual abuse, so my goal is to break down the stigma for men talking about this issue and support them in their journey of healing.” 

Survivor Experiences Service Māori Engagement Lead and survivor Tricia cycled to garner support for people who have been abused in care. She says raising awareness for this Kaupapa is incredibly close to her heart.   

“I know how hard it is for people who have been abused to talk about what they have experienced. That’s a crucial part of why the Survivor Experiences Service exists – for people to have a safe, supportive and confidential place to share their experiences.”  

The ride comes at an important time, with the final report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care being released next month. April was also sexual assault awareness month. 
 
“The release of the Royal Commission’s final report will be a challenging time for many people. By participating in this ride, I wanted to take the power away from the shame that is often debilitating for people and let them know it’s okay to talk about it – if they want to – and seek help,” says Tricia. 

To support the Road to Healing kaupapa, you can donate to: Givealittle - Road to Healing 

For more information visit: https://www.theroadtohealing.co.nz/ and https://survivorexperiences.govt.nz/