Sexual assault survivor hikes mount Snowdon to raise over £1000 for human trafficking charity

 

A courageous woman has hiked Mount Snowdon and helped raise more than £1000 for charity inspired by her journey overcoming sexual assault.

Zoe Papadakos, 21, has opened up about her experience in her emotionally abusive relationship during her first two years at University, and how joining the Dance society and supporting charities, such as Snowdrop, has helped her battle through her struggles.

Snowdrop is a South Yorkshire based charity which helps empower survivors of human trafficking in the UK to recover from their past and rebuild their future. They help them with community activities, home renovations and child care.

Zoe, who waived her right to anonymity to speak to us, said: “I’ve been in the dance society for four years, ever since I joined. It was kind of like my escape.  Dance was that place where I felt confident, where I felt comfortable, where I felt at home.”

“The dance society really helped me through all the tough times like in first year I was really going through bad mental health, and obviously going through that relationship that was very overbearing and hard for me to deal with.”

The final year Material Sciences and Engineering student, along with her dance society, have supported the Snowdrop Project by doing bake-sales, showcases, teaching weekly dance classes to survivors of human trafficking, and on Saturday hiking mount Snowdon.

 “Hopefully we can empower all those women and men survivors of human trafficking and make their day a little bit brighter.”

The 21-year-old, along with her Dance Society, have managed to raise £1380 so far for the charity and are expecting to reach their goal of £1500 by the end of the academic year.

Laura Hill, the charity secretary of the Dance Society, who organized the walk on Saturday said: “Having worked with them for a year you can absolutely see why someone would want to chose them, they’re absolutely incredible.”

 The 25-year-old has struggled with her knees for the past few years and is booked in for a pre-op assessment for a key hole surgery.

She said: “This was something I never thought I’d be able to do. This challenge wasn’t specially for me, but I did feel really proud of myself and it was quite an emotional experience being able to put my body through it.”

 

 

 

Written by Filipa Justino

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