Tahlequah Daily Press

March 17, 2014

Local men to don heels for Walk a Mile event


TAHLEQUAH — The men and boys of Tahlequah and surrounding communities are invited to don pumps and stilettos to raise awareness and funds for the prevention of violence against women and children.

The annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes strides out on Saturday, April 19, at Norris Park, and benefits Help-In-Crisis Inc., an agency that assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Witnessing the men walk a mile in high heels transforms the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event into a fun and out-of-the-box approach to shed light on an important social issue. Tahlequah’s walk is the largest of its kind in the state.

Brand-new this year, individual walkers or groups of walkers can register online by going to www.facebook.com/tahlequah.helpincrisis and clicking on the “events” link. Each walker or group can then seek sponsors who are willing to make a donation in the walker’s name. All donations should be turned in the day of the walk.

Registration opens for participants who did not register online at 10:30 a.m. the morning of the walk. The actual walk will start at 11:30 a.m. and the entire event ends at 2 p.m.

Trophies will be awarded for various categories such as the largest group, the group which raised the most money, and the individual who raised the most money.

The Tahlequah Walk a Mile event is a family-friendly day with a Kid Zone complete with bouncy house and a silent auction.

One-in-six women or girls will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and one-in-four will be the victim of domestic violence. While women are the primary victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, men everywhere are also affected.

hese women are daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, and co-workers, so Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an extraordinary way for men to stand up and say violence against women is not acceptable.

The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event offers opportunities to educate people about the problem of domestic violence and sexual assault, and encourage them to find solutions.

or preventive education, it helps men better understand and appreciate women’s experiences, thus changing perspectives, improving gender relationships and decreasing the potential for violence.

For healing, it informs the community that services are available for recovery.

It demonstrates that men are willing and able to be courageous partners with women in making the world a safer place.

Help-In-Crisis, Inc. is a non-profit agency which maintains a 24/7 Crisis Line and an emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic or sexual violent situations. The agency also provides peer counseling, court advocacy, child abuse prevention, sexual assault prevention, supervised visitations, child advocacy center, and SANE exams for the four counties of Adair, Cherokee, Wagoner, and Sequoyah.

Last year, 231 women and children passed through the shelter doors, staying an average of 23 days each with a total of 4,992 cumulative days. They were offered case management, counseling, support, transportation, life skills training, and assistance with clothing, household items, and medication.

Anyone who made need these services should call the Crisis Line at (800) 300-5321 or (918) 456-4357.