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Fenix Maiorana

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Charity - BraveHearts - 777 - Newspaper Article 

FENIX Maiorana is the first to admit he is not an athlete -- and yet he is preparing to take on the mammoth task of the Bravehearts' 777 adventure challenge, which will see him run seven marathons over seven days in seven states.
Bravehearts is an organisation aimed at raising money and awareness to protect children against sexual assault -- a cause very close to Fenix's heart.
"I experienced ongoing sexual assault from the age of five into adulthood," Fenix said.
"It effected every aspect of my life in ways you can't imagine.
"Being sexually assaulted, groomed and conditioned from a young age to keep quiet about what was happening to me left me with post traumatic stress syndrome, major depression and anxiety," Fenix said.
"For me, because the abuse started at such a young age, I was confused about what the role of adults was.
"The effects of grooming emotionally stunted me, for sure.
"I had basically been brainwashed to think it was my fault."
Growing up in the Sunraysia area, Fenix, who was born with the name Luke, relocated to Melbourne at the age of 17.
"I just kind of wandered through that stage of my life in a bit of a daze," he said.
"I hadn't told anyone about what was happening to me, so I was carrying around all sorts of debilitating feelings of shame, guilt, confusion and the need to overachieve.
"I couldn't settle down, I jumped from job to job. 
"I felt like I just couldn't find my place in the world, no matter how hard I tried.
"It was a pretty dark time in my life and I was on a downward spiral."
Fenix made the decision to break his silence 3 years ago and says he hasn't looked back.
"I know 100% that speaking up was the right thing to do," he said.
"It was time for me to stop carrying the burden and open up to the people in my life who love me and care about my welfare."
With the support of his family and friends, Fenix sought professional help to deal with the trauma he had suffered and it's impact.
"I started seeing a counsellor, which taught me to process my emotions in a healthy way," he said.
"Knowledge is power, and the more informed you are, the more you take your power back into your own hands.
"Since starting counselling, I've learned a lot, in particular that I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to be."
Fenix said as a male, there is an added stigma around sexual assault.
"Men are raised to think of themselves as the protector, not as someone who may need protecting," he said.
"It's so important to break the stigma around that, to have conversations, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.
"It's not easy, it's a long process and there's a lot to work through."
Fenix decided to take his future into his own hands and arm himself with knowledge.
He began researching the subject of child sexual assault online.
"Some of the stats were horrific," he said.
"Through my research, I came across Bravehearts, and I immediately felt drawn to them as an organisation.
"I knew I wanted to help children, and do everything I could to make sure the cycle of sexual assault against kids in Australia stops."
Fenix, who has recently relocated back to Mildura, said raising awareness is the perfect place to start.
"A big part of the issue is breaking down barriers and the stigma," he said.
"Sexual assault is not a nice topic, its a touchy subject for a lot of people.
"Many people may be uncomfortable talking to their children about it.
"But no matter how uncomfortable it is for you, it's necessary to have open and honest conversations with your kids.
"Keeping them safe and building trust is key.
"Had I had the services that Bravehearts provides when I was younger, I'd be in a very different position today.

"A big part of my life will always be protecting children and doing whatever I can to raise awareness, because without safe, happy, nurtured and protected children who are loved and developed with correct morals and integrity we don't have a future," Fenix said.

BREAKOUT**
According to Bravehearts:
- 1 in 5 children in Australia will be sexually harmed in some way by their 18th birthday.
- Child sexual assault is a crime that affects all races, economic classes and minority groups. Children of all genders and ages are assaulted -- even toddlers and young babies.
- Children rarely lie about or imagine being sexually assaulted. In 98% of cases, their disclosures are found to be true.
- 1 in 3 Australians would not believe a child if they disclosed that they were being abused.
- 34% of Australian children had had contact online with someone they have not met face to face.
- A child is 33 times more likely to be the victim of sexual assault than the victim of kidnapping or abduction.


BREAKOUT**
The Bravehearts' 777 adventure challenge will see Fenix run 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 cities in July year.
Commencing in Perth, and moving on to Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney and finishing on the Gold Coast, Fenix and other national runners will run the 21.1km or 42.2kms daily to raise awareness for childhood sexual assault. 
"My goal is to raise $10,000," Fenix said.
"That's the target for each of the national runners.
"There's been amazing support so far, and I really think we can hit the target, especially if we manage to secure some commercial sponsorship, prizes for raffles and auctions.
"We are urging the community and businesses to get behind the cause and help out if they can," he said.

24%
  • Goal $10,000.00
  • Raised $2,437.55
Top Donations
  • GEO Origins - Cafe & Roastery - $717.55
  • Fenix Maiorana - $510.00
  • Chocolate fundraiser - $400.00
  • Fenix Maiorana - $300.00
  • Katrina Cavallaro’s Garage Sale and collection tin at the Butcher Mildura - $270.00
Sponsors
Donor Date Amount Message
Mum Runner 5/29/2020 $70.00 Donations from our Run It Anyway event.
GEO Origins - Cafe & Roastery 5/5/2020 $717.55 Donations for coffee
Trent Beven 4/15/2020 $40.00
Camille Merriman 4/14/2020 $30.00
Katrina Cavallaro’s Garage Sale and collection tin at the Butcher Mildura 2/22/2020 $270.00 Thanks for your support Katrina and Ronny
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