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Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

Laurier prof climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to support program for abused women

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Nov 18/11| For Immediate Release

Contact:

Lea Caragata, Professor, Faculty of Social Work
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-1970 ext. 5219 or lcaragata@wlu.ca

or 

Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or kcrowley@wlu.ca

WATERLOO – Laurier Social Work Professor Lea Caragata will soon be hiking to the top of Africa’s highest mountain to support a program that helps empower abused women. Caragata was inspired to become involved following her study on lone mothers that showed 70 per cent of the women had been abused.

Caragata is among a group of Canadians who have agreed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Outward Bound’s Women of Courage Program. Since it started in 1998, more than 1,000 women survivors of violence have participated in this eight-day wilderness program, which provides an opportunity to bond with others who share a common history and an opportunity for rediscovery.

“Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is one way to step outside of the usual academic box,” said Caragata. “I want to support these women in a different way – not by doing more research or more academic-type activities but by putting on hiking boots and trying to raise some money for programs that will make a difference in their lives.”

The abuse women reported in Caragata’s study ranged from partner violence to childhood sexual abuse. Some of the mothers interviewed in Caragata’s study ended up going back to their abusive partner because they had no other way to feed their children.

“When you think of this nice Canada that we imagine we live in, we don’t tend to think there are women who feel they should stay in a relationship where they get hit every day, or demeaned or both, just in order to survive,” said Caragata. “But abuse was such a significant finding in our research that as a society we have to acknowledge the effects of abuse in public policy.”

Caragata leaves for Tanzania Jan. 8. Her hope is to raise $10,000. For more information about the campaign, visit the Canada Helps website. Click on Donate Now, choose #1 Kilimanjaro Fundraiser for Women of Courage Program, and in the instruction box, type in Lea Caragata.

For more information about Caragata’s research, click here.

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. It is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world at 5,895 metres tall.

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