A Newcastle pole dancer will perform a routine at Gregson Park on Friday night with a powerful message in mind.
"If I got through a domestic violence relationship, anyone can get through it. It's hard: you fall and you fail but you've got to keep picking yourself back up," the pole dancer and dance teacher, who goes by the stage name Scarlett Lea, said.
"Eventually, you will realise you are enough."
The 28-year-old will be one of the performers to take to the stage at the city's annual Reclaim the Night event, to be held at the park in Hamilton.
The global event highlights the rights of women and children to live without experiencing violence, intimidation, harassment and sexual abuse. It has been marked in cities around the world since 1977. Last year Newcastle's iteration of the event brought together more than 200 women.
Marches will also take place in Lake Macquarie and Maitland on Friday.
Scarlett said she was approached by the event's organisers to perform her routine, after she devised the dance for a competition.
"I felt too strongly about it to not do it," she said.
Scarlett said performing it for the first time had allowed her to gain closure on her experiences in a prior relationship.
"I left everything on that stage," she said. "I had people who didn't even know me come up to me afterwards at the end who were very emotional."
Scarlett said she hoped her dance, which ends with her revealing the message "enough" on her crop top, communicated that "it's never okay to make someone think they are less than you", no matter their gender.
"Domestic violence is not just a male to female thing, anyone can do it to anyone," she said.
Scarlett began going to pole dancing classes eight years ago with her mother, who was 52-years-old at the time. The pair are now both instructors at Pol-Arise dance studio in Newcastle.
Scarlett said she "drew strength" from pole dancing.
When she began learning the craft she had recently been discharged from hospital with symptoms that would later be revealed as stage one bladder cancer. She is now in remission from the disease.
If I can hang upside down just by holding on with one leg, then I can do anything in the world.Scarlett Lea
"Dancing helped me to start getting my body image back," she said. "It helped me see that being strong is what is important.
"The girls are so supportive [at the studio] you develop belief in yourself, which transfers into your real life.
"If I can hang upside down just by holding on with one leg, then I can do anything in the world."
Scarlett said she will be staying after her performance on Friday to talk with attendees who may have concerns about their own relationships.
"It's hard to ask for help, I really struggled with that a lot. It takes a lot of bravery to say to yourself and others, 'No, I've had enough, I want to this to stop.'"
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