SAULT STE. MARIE: Things are looking a little different this year for Women In Crisis, as they gear up for their Third Annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event. As Covid-19 continues to pose threats for events, Women In Crisis has made the decision to host this years’ event virtually. Which means, no flashy red shoes worn by men and women will be seen along the hub trail. This event is to help raise awareness for gender based violence and to allow for the community to come together and support the women and children that may be affected.
“This is our third year doing Walk A Mile In Her Shoes. It’s relatively new for Sault Ste. Marie, but it’s certainly not new. This is an international run-event that began with a group of men who wanted to step up and do something, to help end sexual violence against women,” said Erin Lodge, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, Women In Crisis.
“It’s gone international and a lot of shelters and counseling units are using this as a way to increase awareness in their local communities about, not just sexual violence but also all gender based violence in their communities and getting the community talking and involved and engaged. In a way that is different in that is most of these events men are wearing red high heel shoes. That’s not something you see very often, they created it in a fun way to get people talking about a very real serious issue. That’s what the walk is.”
If interested people are able to register through the Women In Crisis website or through Facebook. This years’ event theme is focused around being a light in the community and being a light to help end gender based violence.
“I realize that the pandemic has dramatically shifted things for people, but our message this year is all about being a light in our community and social media is the perfect tool and avenue to help increase awareness. Gender based violence is not going away unfortunately and we need people like you, people like me who are willing to say I’m going to be a light. I’m going to let my words and my actions speak to those around me, that I do not condone gender based violence.”
Once registered, individuals will be directed to an online store, where purchases can be made for this year’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes t-shirt with a portion going directly to Women In Crisis.
“SK Group has graciously designed this for us and people can purchase them, and a portion of the profits will go back to the shelter here locally. They can wear these hoodies and take a selfie, or they can take a short video of themselves walking and simply say, Hi I’m Erin and I today, am choosing to be a light in my community to help end gender based violence.”
The virtual event will take place on September 26 and instead of having the annual walk, participants are encouraged to take selfies and share their walk on Facebook, still wearing red shoes of course.
“They can send them (pictures) in, and on September 26 we’re going to take all of these selfies and videos that people have sent in and we’re going to do a live video just telling people in the community these are the people that got involved. This is what your support is doing in the work of ending gender based violence.”
Women In Crisis is hopeful the community will still come together during these difficult times and take a moment to recognize an issue that should not go unforgotten.
“We’re really hoping that community will step up, that you’ll go on, you’ll register, you’ll do these selfies, you’ll send in videos, so that we can have a city wide message that goes out from our community members saying that we support all women and children who are affected by gender based violence and we will be here to help them.”
For more information please go to https://womenincrisis.ca/ or check out https://saultonline.com/2019/05/local-men-walk-in-heels-to-help-prevent-violence-against-women/ for last years event.