Walking in heels to end violence against women
For the first time in Norfolk County men will have an opportunity to see what it's like to walk in a women's shoes.
Haldimand and Norfolk Women's Services needs as many men as possible to stand up to domestic violence and show the community it's unacceptable to live in fear of violence.
Kelly Salazar, manager of resource development and communications at Haldimand and Norfolk Women's Services said one in four women in the area experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner and it takes an entire community to fight against it. “We have many champions in our community who are really supportive and don't agree with power and control (in relationships) and aren't OK seeing women and children getting hurt,” she said.
The first annual Hope in High Heels, Men Walking to End Violence Against Women will kick off at Simcoe Composite School on September 23. Registration will start at 11 a.m. and the walk will start at noon.
Salazar said heels are provided for the short walk.
“They are low stacked heels made for men, so they don't need to go out and buy shoes or look through their wives closets,” she said. “It's a quick walk around the block. We don't want anyone getting hurt.”
Salazar said the shelter doesn't receive government funding and the shelter has been running over capacity since January. Last year the shelter housed almost 200 women and children who experienced violence at home.
“It's close to home. A lot of people think, 'oh, that doesn't happen.' It's a subject not many people are talking about, but they're our moms, sisters, aunts, friends and our employees that are facing violence in their homes,” she said. “I think we have a lot of men in the community who want to be able to help.”
Participants will walk from SCS to Bertha Street, to McCall Street, from there to Norfolk Street North and back to the school where a DJ will entertain spectators and food trucks await to serve hungry walkers and spectators.
“We are really hoping a lot of people come out this year and we build awareness of the event to continue growing it every year,” she said.