Walk a Mile Event to Put Focus on Domestic Violence

May 13, 2016

On Wednesday night, while much of the city was sleeping or headed to bed, Coral Wilson was shot to death by her longtime boyfriend in the living room of her Druid City home. Four of the couple’s eight children were shot, as well.

The crime made Wilson, 34, the 12th person in Jefferson County to be killed in 2016 by someone who claimed to love them. Domestic violence is a deadly epidemic, but it’s an issue that’s not always easy to discuss.

That’s why YWCA Central Alabama’s Junior Board will host the third annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Railroad Park. Men will slip on some red high heels and take a short walk to raise awareness about the issue and funds to support the YWCA’s domestic violence programs.

Participants will begin gathering at the West Gate at Railroad Park at 5 p.m., and the walk will begin at 5:45 p.m. Following the walk, the group will head over to Regions Field for the Thirsty Thursday Barons game.

“Having men walk in women’s shoes is a lighthearted way to put the focus on a very serious topic,” said Ann Thomas, co-chair of the event. “It will definitely get people talking, and it’s a way to steer the conversation to the important issue of domestic violence.”

The numbers show why the need is critical. Last year, the YWCA received 2,740 calls to its 24-hour Crisis Hotline (205.322.4878) and served 212 adults and 209 children in two confidential shelters. Nearly 4,500 victims received court advocacy services. Nationally, three women die each day because of domestic violence, and 7 million children live in a home where intimate partner abuse has occurred.

“We want people to think about what it means to walk in a domestic violence victim’s shoes,” said Mary Elizabeth Roberson, Walk a Mile co-chair. “This event is eye-catching but eye-opening at the same time.”

Registration is $40 for adults and includes a ticket to the Barons game, food, soft drinks, one alcoholic beverage, a T-shirt and shoe rental for the guys. The cost for children ages 3-12 is $30 and includes a game ticket, food, drinks and access to the FunPark. Children 2 and under are admitted free. To register, click here.

Members of the Walk a Mile committee are: Mary Bradley Anderson, Maggie Baggett, Abigail Bains, Bradford Bankhead, Savannah Bass, Sonya Boatwright, Megan Chenoweth, Sarah Beth Combs, Taylor Cooper, Mary Ann Couch, Mary Edgar, Martha Foster, Lindsay Hackney, Amanda Held, Taylor Knight, Yawanna McDonald, Kathryn McNorton, Callan McWilliams, Brittany Norman, Ashley Rhea, Katelyn Stanier, Lora Terry, Jenni Tetloff, Callen Thistle, Erica Williams and Elizabeth Wilson.

Sponsors include: Baptist Health System;  Belk, Inc.; Metro Heating & Cooling, Inc.; Moore’s Marinade; Resolute Running; Shannon Waltchack, LLC; and Southern Medical Solutions LLC.

To get involved with the YWCA or support our programs, click here.