STSM Announces Fifth Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

COLUMBIA, SC—Men and women from the Midlands will join together to stand up against sexual assault and abuse at the fifth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” on April 17, 2014.  Registration begins at the South Carolina State House at 5:30 p.m. The walk starts at 6:30 p.m., and the after party at Tin Roof begins at 8:00 p.m.

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) organizes Walk a Mile in Her Shoes every year as a fundraiser to support survivors of sexual violence in our community. Men and boys don heels and platform shoes for the walk to get a sense of what survivors experience navigating legal and medical systems after an assault and also dealing with the personal trauma resulting from an assault. Women and children participate as well and all can register to walk in teams or as individuals.  Registration is free for children 12 and under.

Walk a Mile In Her Shoes®was founded in 2001 by Frank Baird in California and has grown nationally since. The walk raises awareness about free and local services STSM provides for survivors of sexual assault and abuse.  STSM hosted the first “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event in South Carolina in 2009, attracting 125 walkers. The event grows each year. In recent years, more than 800 community members have participated. This year’s goal is to bring 1,000 walkers together to raise at least $30,000 to support services for survivors of sexual violence and to provide sexual violence prevention education to the community.

STSM Executive Director Ginny Waller says, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is STSM’s signature Sexual Assault Awareness Month event. It’s amazing to see so many community members come together to support an issue that many people still perceive as taboo. It means so much to survivors to see our community embrace them and recognize how vital it is that we all work together to end sexual violence.”

The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event is part of STSM’s “Sexual Abuse Awareness Month” held every April. Throughout the month, STSM coordinates awareness days, kickoff parties, self-defense classes, trainings and an annual golf tournament benefitting sexual assault and abuse prevention efforts.

For more information on “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” or to form your team, go to www.stsm.org/events/walkamile. Men are encouraged to wear heels and information on obtaining shoes can be found at www.stsm.org/tips-walking-her-shoes.

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM), formerly named Rape Crisis Network, is a private, nonprofit, United Way member agency committed to providing free, direct services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse, including 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, court accompaniment, personal advocacy, individual and group counseling, and education about sexual trauma issues.