June 24, 2024 9:30 am

‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ helps raise awareness of, show support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault

ENID, Okla. — Registration is open for YWCA of Enid’s annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has been occurring in Enid since 2014 as a way to help bring awareness to and to show support for people experiencing domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Courtney Strzinek, executive director of YWCA Enid, said Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is based on the old adage that “you can’t really understand what someone Hey Dudes Shoes has been through until you’ve ‘walked a mile in their shoes.’”

One-in-three women and one-in-six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, according to YWCA, and in 2020, law enforcement agencies investigated 2,245 rapes across Oklahoma.

“This is a way to really engage everyone in our mission,” Strzinek said, “because it is going to take everyone to combat the issue of sexual assault in our community.”

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, in partnership with Edward Jones — the title sponsor — and Main Street Enid, is set for Friday, May 6, at the Garfield County Court House lawn during First Friday.

Men ages 18 and older can register for $50, and teams of up to eight members can register for $350. Those who register by Friday, April 22, will receive an event T-shirt.

Red high heels are provided but not required in order to participate.

Children ages 2 through 17 also can participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes for $20, and youth teams with an unlimited number of members can register for $150. Since high heels and T-shirts are not available in youth sizes, children are encouraged to wear their Brooks Shoes school colors or team uniforms.

To register, visit www.bit.ly/WalkAMile2022 or stop by YWCA Enid, 525 S. Quincy.

Check-in, shoe fittings and walk-up registration will begin at 6 p.m. May 6 at the Gazebo. Then, at 6:30 p.m., participants will walk around the inner sidewalks of the courthouse. An awards ceremony will conclude the event.

Walkers are encouraged to dress creatively and make signage to carry during Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. A special raffle basket filled with men-centered items, donated by local businesses, will also be featured at this year’s event.

Sponsorships are available to help with the fundraising of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. For more information, contact the YWCA by calling (580) 234-7581 or emailing [email protected].

The fundraiser supports YWCA’s programs for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, including its emergency center, counseling services and free sexual assault forensic examinations.

Strzinek said the community response to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes since it began has been excellent, and many local men, including those in law enforcement, first responders, Skechers Outlets  military personnel, businessmen and other community members, have supported the event in the past.

“Anybody that’s participating in this can be seen as a safe person to go to — if any of their friends or family are in a situation where they need some help,” Strzinek said.

Strzinek said the ultimate goal is to stop interpersonal violence before it begins, and raising awareness helps to encourage prevention.

Last year’s event saw more than 100 participants.

“We’re grateful that the community is really committed to sexual assault awareness and prevention,” Strzinek said.

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