Big Island Men to Walk in High Heels to Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault

YWCA Hawaii Island hosts the third annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” on Saturday, October 26, 2013 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 and is a call to end sexual assault, rape and gender violence in the community.

Mayor Kenoi holding his selected pair of heels for the 2012 Walk-a-Mile event

Mayor Kenoi holding his selected pair of heels for the 2012 Walk-a-Mile event

Mayor Billy Kenoi and Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau will lead the march and address participants at the YWCA kick-off sites in Hilo and Kona, respectively.  Also joining the march and leading their respective organizations are Police Chief Harry Kubojiri, Fire Chief Darren Rosario, County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveria, Police Deputy Chief Paul Ferreira, Police Assistant Chief Paul Kealoha, and radio personality J.E. Orozco.

“Inspired by the saying, ‘You can’t understand a person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,’ we’re asking men to walk in women’s shoes to show their support to end violence against women and girls,” said Karen Hayashida, YWCA board president.  “Every three hours someone on Hawaii Island is sexually assaulted, which is unacceptable.  The community must work together to create a safer, healthier place to live and work.”

The event is sponsored by KTA Superstores, Hawaii Radiology, Big Island Toyota, HPM Building Supply, HFS Federal Credit Union, Atlas Insurance and Target in Kailua-Kona.

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, and violence prevention education for schools and the community.

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 $25 fee.  The community is invited to participate in the event and help raise funds to meet the $25,000 goal.  For more information, visit or call the YWCA Hawaii Island office at 935-7141.

About the YWCA Hawaii Island
YWCA Hawaii Island is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is the elimination of racism and empowerment of women.  Established in 1919, the organization offers services and programs which include: a nationally accredited preschool; the only Teen Court for the Big Island; and the only home visitation program to prevent child abuse and neglect for 0-3 year olds in all of East Hawai’i.

The YWCA Hawaii Island is part of the YWCA USA, the oldest and largest national women’s organization with the mission of empowering women and eliminating racism.  Nationally, the YWCA represents 2 million women, girls and their families in the US each year.  Globally, the YWCA USA is a member of World YWCA, which has affiliates in over 100 countries that serve 25 million women and girls worldwide.


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