Put Yourself in Her Shoes

In her spare time as a wife and mom of two energetic young sons, Erin Stephenson is the VP for Development at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. She has been part of the YWCA’s Junior Board since 2008 and is “pumped” to be the Chair of the inaugural Walk-A-Mile® event. 

“Put yourself in her shoes.” How many times have you been given this advice? It has become a bit of a throw-away phrase, but on May 17, 2014, the Junior Board of the YWCA is inviting people to do just that as we debut our new community event, Walk-A-Mile®. We are asking men (and the women and families who support them) to help us raise awareness of women’s issues and the YWCA’s domestic violence services by walking a mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. 
If you just read that last sentence, chuckled, and thought, “yeah, right!” consider the need for this awareness. In 2013, the YWCA served 221 adults and 251 children in two confidential shelters and provided legal and court advocacy services for 3,952 victims of domestic abuse—and that’s just in a three county service area. Beyond that, nationally, 1 in 4 women will become victims of domestic violence and there are 145 domestic violence incidents every hour in the United States alone.
It’s especially important for men to become a part of the domestic violence conversation. While men aren’t the only perpetrators of domestic abuse, they account for nearly 75 percent of domestic violence battery cases in the state. Furthermore, boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their partners when they become adults. To better solve the problem of domestic violence, men must be included.
Walk-A-Mile® provides a light-hearted platform for us to highlight the many ways that the YWCA and other critical partners walk alongside victims of domestic violence every single day of the year, 24 hours a day. The least we can do is to walk a mile to show these victims how much we care. 
So grab your husband, your brother, your father, your son, your running (or walking) group, someone with great legs, your friends… we’ll provide the shoes and a family-friendly party to celebrate you after you walk! 

The cost to walk is $30.00 and registration will open next week. For more information on Walk-A-Mile® contact Christian Smith at csmith@ywcabham.org. 
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact our domestic violence hotline at (205)322-4878 or the statewide domestic violence hotline at 1-800-650-6522 to find out about resources to protect you.
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Put Yourself in Her Shoes