Men in High Heels Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault In Hawaii Island’s Fifth Annual “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes”

YWCA Hawaii Island hosts the fifth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser Saturday, October 24 at 7:30 a.m.  In East Hawaii, the one-mile march begins at the YWCA Ululani Street campus. In West Hawaii, the march will be at the Kona International Market. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, a call to end sexual assault, rape and gender violence in the community.

Mayor Kenoi and his shoes that he wore in 2012

Mayor Kenoi and his shoes that he wore in 2012

Mayor Billy Kenoi and radio personality Darrin “DC” Carlson will lead the march from Hilo. The Sex Assault Response team, including Captain Chad Basque from the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) will lead the Kona march. Also joining the march and leading the HPD team is Deputy Chief Paul Ferreira.

All proceeds from the event directly benefit the YWCA Hawaii Island Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) program, the only 24-hour, 7-days a week rape crisis center for the island. SASS services are free and include crisis counseling, therapy for assault victims and their families, forensic evidence collection and violence prevention education for schools and the community.

“We know that nationally, one of four women and one of six men are sexually assaulted by the time they are 18. That’s unacceptable,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA Hawaii Island. “On our island, about 50 percent of our SASS clients are 18 and under. ‘Walk a Mile’ is a chance to see what is like to literally walk in women’s shoes. Every dollar raised by walkers helps survivors address and move through the trauma of sexual assault.”

The event is sponsored by KTA Super Stores, The Gas Company, Hemic, National Fire Protection, Kinetic Learning, Atlas Insurance and First Hawaiian Bank.

March participants are asked to report to the kick-off sites by 7:30 a.m. to register, select their shoes and warm up for the walk. All participants must complete an entry form and submit a $10 fee. The community is invited to participate in the event and help raise funds to meet the $25,000 goal. For more information, call the YWCA Hawaii Island office at 935-7141 x111 or email events@ywcahawaiiisland.org.

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