The eighth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event will be held during downtown Delaware’s First Friday event this week and aims to raise awareness for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.
The event is organized by the Delaware County Coalition of Victim Services and Main Street Delaware, with sponsorship from Terra Nova Community Church. Community members are invited to don high heels and other footwear and walk a mile in support of victims of domestic and sexualized violence.
The event is free and registration begins at 6 p.m. Friday with the walking starting at 7 p.m. at the intersection of West Winter Street and North Sandusky Street. Organizers said the event is meant to spark discussion about sexual violence and the ways people can help.
“It’s a stepping stone,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien, a supporter of the event. “When you raise awareness, you can change how the community acts. People can educate themselves about what [sexualized and domestic violence] is, and the more educated they are the more they can help.”
O’Brien said the event has been a success in the past, both in terms of attendance and message.
“It’s important to let victims know they’re not alone, that help is available,” said Trish Wright, victim services director for the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office. “It’s the community taking a stand together to stop the violence and, literally, walk a mile in her shoes.”
This is the eighth year for the event, organizers said, but the third time it has partnered with Main Street Delaware and the First Friday celebration.
“This is our third year in coordination with the coalition on this event,” added Frances Jo Hamilton, Main Street Delaware’s executive director. “I am thrilled to see this event continue to grow in our community. Bringing together organizations and building community is what the Main Street concept is all about.”
Despite the subject matter, O’Brien said the event is very family-friendly and will have plenty of activities for children. There will be music and many of the local stores and restaurants will be open late for the event.
To support the crowd of walkers and other guests, organizers report that additional free First Friday parking will be available at both the Delaware Police Department, located at 70 N. Union St., and at Delaware County’s Hayes Administration Building, at 140 N. Sandusky St.