April 29, 2015
Four male Verizon Wireless employees recently rolled up the legs of their pants, slipped their feet into some red high heels and braced themselves for the comments. Their co-workers didn’t disappoint. “It will definitely get people talking,” one person said. “You’re gonna get a lot of attention with those shoes.”
That’s exactly the outcome members of the YWCA Central Alabama’s Junior Board are hoping for as they prepare for the second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®. The event is set for May 2 at 10 a.m. at Railroad Park and is designed to promote awareness about domestic violence.
Sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the walk allows men to become part of the conversation about the issue. While men aren’t the only perpetrators of domestic violence, they account for nearly 75 percent of domestic violence cases in the state. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their partners when they become adults.
In 2014, the YWCA served 197 adults and 190 children in two confidential shelters and provided court advocacy services for 3,617 victims of domestic violence. Nationally, three women die each day because of domestic violence, and 7 million children live in a home where intimate partner abuse has occurred.
“Having men walk in women’s shoes is a fun-filled way to put the focus on a very serious subject,” Junior Board member Sissy Hembree said. She and Anne Lary are co-chairs of the event. “Following the walk, we’ll have a Block Party with food from Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, beer from Good People Brewing Company and a bouncy house for the kids.”
Verizon will collect no-longer-used cell phones for its Hopeline Project, which provides pre-paid wireless phones to advocacy groups for survivors. The phones help connect victims and survivors to emergency services during times of crisis and stay in touch with family, friends and employers.
Members of the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® committee are: Savannah Bass, Sonya Boatwright, Mary Cox Brown, Megan Chenoweth, Dana Cockrell, Sarah Beth Combs, Taylor Cooper, Laura Dunning, Mary Edgar, Taylor Knight, Brittany Norman, Ashley Rhea, Mary Elizabeth Roberson, Lora Terry, Callen Thistle, Ann Thomas and Elizabeth Wilson.
Sponsors for the event include Belk, Inc.; Bryant Bank; Orthosports Associates; Ray & Poynor Properties; Regions Financial Corporation; Resolute Running; Slate Barganier Building; Waterway Distributing; Weld for Birmingham; and White Plume Technologies.
Registration is $35 and includes a T-shirt, two beers, lunch and shoe rental for the guys. Women and children are welcome to walk, as well, and we don’t care what shoes they wear! To register, click here.
If you would like to become involved with the YWCA or support our programs, click here.