Last week, University of Reading student Domenica Taverna contacted us on Instagram about sharing her story and fundraising for My Body Back Project – a project that works with women who have experienced sexual violence. The subject is fitting as this week is Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2021. Please note: this blog contains themes that may be upsetting for some readers, so we wanted to let you know before you go on. If you are affected by any of these or need any support, you can find it via the links at the end of this blog
“The idea came from my daily inactivity due to lockdown; I realised my routine was robotic, and my mood was quite low. I wanted something to motivate me and focus on (aside from uni work of course), which coincided with some topics I’ve encountered in my degree. As a Classics student, I study a lot about gender and sexuality in antiquity, also in relation to the present. Some of my readings prompted me to think about how tough it must be right now for sexual assault victims to be coping in isolation with lots of key resources shut due to lockdown. Researching this led me to the My Body Back Project and the idea for a fundraiser fit with what I found perfectly; I really wanted to channel my motivation into raising some money for this incredibly worthy project so that hopefully by the time they reopen it is not so difficult for them to get back on their feet and resume supporting people who need them again.
I will be running 100k in the 28 days of February to raise money for My Body Back Project. Anybody who knows me will know that I seldom run for the bus, let alone 100k in a month off my own will – which should in itself amplify how much this fundraiser means to me.
My Body Back is a project that supports women and non-binary people after they have experienced sexual violence. The organisation promotes a healthy connection with women’s bodies and sexuality after traumatic experiences. They offer cervical smears, maternity clinics, group support sessions, and feminist-based erotic media for those who wish to healthily explore their sexuality without the intrinsic misogyny of the pornography industry.
The project hones in on the vital recovery part of sexual violence, supporting the return to a healthy relationship with one’s body and sex life after suffering an assault.
Ultimately, I am challenging myself and pushing my limits by running the most I have (ever) due to my Cystic Fibrosis and low lung capacity for this worthy cause. The long-term recovery stage of sexual violence is quite underrepresented, and I love everything the project stands for, which is really spurring me on.
Follow my journey on my Instagram @100kforMBB, lots of love and thank you for reading.”