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‘Walking a Mile’ event puts the shoe on the other foot

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

Organizers are hoping to see 200 men slip into stilettos at the Lambton Mall this month for the fifth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

The fundraiser for the Women’s Interval Home and Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre is slated for April 8, and will see participants walk one mile in high-heeled shoes to raise awareness about rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

“It’s amazing to watch the men walk around the mall in their heels and just rally together and show their support for the cause,” said Angie Marks, director of services at the Interval Home.

“I think there’s some learning as well… some pieces that they’re able to take back with them in helping women who might be in an abusive relationship.”

It’s the flagship fundraiser for both agencies, which provide residential and non-residential support — including crisis, housing and transitional supports, counseling, support groups and other programs — for women experiencing abuse, sexual assault and sexual abuse.

“We are fortunate to have a lot of third party fundraisers; the community really comes together for us. But this is our one big fundraiser for both agencies,” said Marks, pointing to a $20,000 goal.

Participants are encouraged to register early so organizers can have enough shoes on hand, with families and children encouraged to join in.

“It’s just a very playful way for them to come out and support the cause — whether it’s a friend they know or a family member, or maybe have daughters and sons growing up and want them to understand that awareness is the biggest part. Because we want to stop violence.”

According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16, and, on any given night in Canada, some 300 women and children are turned away because shelters are already full.

Marks says the Interval Home operates at 95% capacity year-round, and sees about 180 women residentially.

With all services combined, the centre sees about 1,000 women every year.

The money raised supports programs that are not funded, including youth relationship programs and life skills programs for women and children.

“Sometimes people just think of us as a shelter,” said Marks. “But we do so much more than that.”


WHAT: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Sarnia-Lambton

WHEN: Saturday, April 8, registration at 11 a.m., walk at 12 noon

WHERE: Lambton Mall, Sears atrium area

DETAILS: Visit, search for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Sarnia Lambton on Facebook, or call 519-336-5200, ext. 229.


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