Christchurch man's 24-hour walk around Hagley Park to help male victims of domestic violence

"If I can save one more life, walking for 24 hours is nothing."

Starting at 7am on Wednesday, 2019 mayoral candidate Stephen McPaike began his 24-hour walk around South Hagley Park, clocking up about 108km, in the name of stopping violence against men.

McPaike’s Walk for Help aimed to raise awareness about men who are victims of domestic abuse and raise funds to assist with their recovery.

You can donate via McPaike's Givealittle page. As of Thursday afternoon, he had raised $1020.

McPaike, who works at Mitre 10 Mega Ferrymead, was inspired to begin the project after a man trapped in an abusive relationship reached out to him during the level 4 lockdown.

They had been chatting over the phone when the man’s partner entered the room and began physically abusing him. He was taken to hospital for his injuries.

Stephen McPaike spent Wednesday walking around South Hagley Park for 24 hours to raise awareness...
Stephen McPaike spent Wednesday walking around South Hagley Park for 24 hours to raise awareness about violence against men. Photo: Geoff Sloan

McPaike said he helped the man leave his relationship and build a new life for himself.

“I chose to do a walk because it symbolises walking out of a bad relationship and walking into a new and better life,” he said.

All money raised will be donated to the Canterbury Men’s Centre on Marshland Rd, creating a fund for free counselling for men who have left abusive relationships.

The centre gets 300 men through its doors each week. It is the largest community counselling service in Canterbury.

Centre chief executive Donald Pettitt said he was moved by McPaike’s walk.

McPaike wants male survivors of domestic violence to know they are not alone.

“I want people to be able to open up and to say: 'I have been abused, I want help, I want to be a better person'."

He is hoping people will begin to have conversations about an issue “that is just not really talked about.”

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