The third-annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event to raise awareness about sexual and domestic violence and raise money to provide services for survivors, will kick-off with a 30-minute television special to air at noon Saturday on KSNC TV, local channel 3.
The walk, during which men will wear red stiletto-healed shoes, will take place from 6-8 p.m. Thursday in the Barton County Courthouse Square in Great Bend in conjunction with Thirsty Thursdays.
“It’s not just a woman’s issue,” said Laura Patzner, executive director of the Family Crisis Center. “Sexual and Domestic Violence does not just affect women. It affects men and it affects the women men care about.”
Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime, she said, quoting national statistics.
In Kansas, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation reports one rape is reported to law enforcement every eight hours. Rape is one of the top 10 most prevalent person crimes in Kansas. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. One in five female high school students reports being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
“That means someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual or domestic violence,” Patzner said. “It may be your friend, your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife or your daughter.”
At this year’s event, a “Silent Witness” will be dedicated to the memory of Alicia DeBolt by her family. The Silent Witnesses are a project through the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) and are silhouettes of women with the first name, age, county and basic description of the lethal event that ended their lives. This display is used by KCSDV and member programs across the state to honor the lives lost and to raise awareness of these serious crimes.
“Each victim stands as a silent witness to the terrible cost of sexual and domestic violence.” said Joyce Grover, executive director of KCSDV. “It is our hope that by sharing their stories, we can help move all of us closer to ending violence against women in Kansas.”
This year, the center has added new activities and has partnered with new organizations to engage more participants. Activities will include a pledge walk, kids events, scavenger hunt, and the team race. Pledge sheets are available at the Family Crisis Center Inc.’s office at 1924 Broadway Avenue in Great Bend. Registration is $25 for youth participants and $50 for adult participants.
The Ruby Red Prize will be awarded for Top Fundraiser in Youth, Adult and Team categories. For more information, call us at 620-793-9941 or visit our website at www.familycrisiscntr.org