Personnel from 1st Signal Regiment put their running shoes on for a worthy cause at Gallipoli Barracks. 

On October 22, about 120 unit personnel participated in an individual 10km or 20km run for the 2020 Darkness to Daylight event, to raise awareness of domestic violence. 

Regimental Sergeant Major 1st Signal Regiment Warrant Office Class 1 Benn Goulter has witnessed the far-reaching effects of domestic violence.

He said the traumatic experience of a female relative when he was younger affected many other members of the family. 

“As a teenager I was vaguely aware her husband could get angry, but I certainly didn’t have any idea of what he was actually like,” Warrant Office Goulter said. 

“It’s important to identify that it's not just the people directly involved in domestic violence but it’s any number of people around them that can be impacted quite significantly.”

The 110km overnight event is usually conducted at Southbank in Brisbane, but this year was held remotely because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Each kilometre symbolised a life lost to domestic and family violence each year in Australia.

The event aimed to let those affected know that support is available, the community cares and a difference can be made to end domestic violence.

Times weren’t officially recorded on the day, however, Craftsman Horacio Mascarenhas Ingles was first across the finish line in about 45 minutes. 

Craftsman Mascarenhas Ingles said he understood the impact domestic and family violence could have on the community. 

“I have some friends who have gone through similar things. My wife’s family and mine as well,” he said.

Lieutenant Olivia Bowman-Wall helped coordinate the event. 

“We decided we still wanted to provide awareness of the event and run it on base,” Lieutenant Bowman-Wall said. 

“It’s important as Defence members that we are involved in being part of the solution and noting the behaviours that can result in domestic violence and supporting survivors.” 

Warrant Office Goulter said because of his experience he wanted others to consider the long-term impacts of domestic violence. 

“Maybe the next time they see something not quite right they will put a bit more rigour into looking at it,” he said.

“In my family’s situation, had people been able to step in earlier, maybe things would have been different.”

This year, the Darkness to Daylight event is hoping to raise $350,000 for domestic and family violence prevention programs. 

For more information, visit www.darknesstodaylight.org