EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A local organization is encouraging men to put themselves in the shoes of women to raise awareness and funds for domestic violence survivors.
“Walk a Mile in her Shoes” is an annual, local event led by YWCA El Paso del Norte. Male participants will get the opportunity to literally step into a woman’s shoes and walk a symbolic mile in the event’s signature red high heels.
The walk is a part of the official “International Men’s March to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence,” said a YWCA press release.
The Department of Justice’s Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) says that every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
Organizers of “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” say that sexual violence and abuse is an issue that even the El Paso community faces.
“I know last week, our transitional living center was at capacity. So that’s just our shelter, that’s not counting all the other ones in town… so that’s how many people are experiencing this today as we speak. This is not something in a far away land, this is something that we deal with in our community everyday,” says Kayla Suarez, YWCA Communications Manager.
Funds raised from the walk will directly benefit the Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center, serving women and children who have experienced various forms of abuse or violence.
The center provides resources that are much needed in the wake of transition. Resources include life skills classes, counseling, navigating child care, education and career support.
“And this event helps us provide those services, it helps us provide a safe, secure place for these families to heal, find a second chance, become self sustainable and independent and move forward in their life to a more positive chapter than what they’re escaping from,” says Suarez.
Organizers expect this year’s event success to surpass the last — up to 400 participants and over $150,000 raised before event close.
Individuals and teams that still wish to register for the walk, as well as men and women who wish to support the event, can do so on the YWCA El Paso website.
The walk will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17 near San Jacinto Plaza in Downtown El Paso. Festivities kick off at 4:30 p.m. and the walk will begin at 6:00 p.m.
San Jacinto Plaza
114 W. Mills Avenue
El Paso, TX 79901