Participants in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes are encouraged to make signs to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.
As the old adage goes, “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” To bring awareness to and raise funds for domestic violence and sexual assault in Rogers County, Safenet Services is sponsoring the 6th annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” on Saturday, April 16, during the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. PAWS for a Cause will return this year as well, and supporters are invited to bring their canine friends to join the fundraiser.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a national event, began in 2001 when a small group of men tottered around a park in high heels to raise funds for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs. It has grown into a worldwide movement with millions raised each year for the cause.
The event, designed to be fun and to get communities talking about something really difficult to speak about – gender relations and sexual violence – will begin at 10 a.m. in Claremore. Pre-registration starts at 9. Walkers and dogs will begin the one-mile trek at the gazebo, trek down Main Street, and return down Patti Page Boulevard.
“We had a great turnout last year with over 120 walkers, including men, women and children showing up,” said Emily Brown, Resource Coordinator for Safenet Services.
Registration for the walk is $25 for adults, $15 for students, and free for ages 5 and under. Pet registration is $10 per dog. Walkers who pre-register will receive a T-shirt. For those who wait to register on the day of the event, T-shirts will be available for a $10 additional fee.
Participants are encouraged to form teams of five or more. “We would love to have as many teams from different organizations, businesses, and church groups as possible,” said Donna Grabow, Executive Director of Safenet. “Awards will be given to teams who raise the most money for the cause by means of asking others to sponsor their walk or making donations themselves. We will also give swag bags for teams and individuals who have fundraised above their registration fee.”
Walkers are encouraged to wear red shoes or red on their shoes for the event. “New this year will be a Red Shoe Runway Show for the brave fellows who are man enough to walk in her shoes,” said Brown. “Awards will be given in several categories. We hope that each team will enter a representative.”
Teams are encouraged to register in advance by going online to www.safenetservices.org or by calling (918) 341-1424.
“Domestic violence and sexual assault are not just women’s issues,” added Grabow. “It affects the men who care about them, their families, their friends, their coworkers, and their communities. One in four American women is a victim. That means someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual violence. It may be your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your wife, your coworker, or your daughter.” All proceeds will directly benefit Safenet Services’ clients.
Prior to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Safenet Services will host the 2nd annual Color Wheel Fun at Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor on Saturday, March 5. On-site registration will be available. The Fun Run begins at 8 a.m., and the 5K and 10K start at 8:30.
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