April 20—Registration is open for the YWCA of Enid’s annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has been taking place in Enid since 2014 to help raise awareness and show support for those who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Courtney Strzinek, executive director of YWCA Enid, said Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is based on the old adage that “you can’t really understand what someone’s been through until you’ve walked a mile.” mile in his shoes'”.
According to the YWCA, one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, and in 2020 law enforcement investigated 2,245 rapes in Oklahoma.
“It’s a way to really get everyone involved in our mission,” Strzinek said, “because it’s going to take everyone addressing the issue of sexual assault in our community.”
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, in partnership with Edward Jones – the title sponsor – and Main Street Enid, is scheduled for Friday, May 6 on the lawn of the Garfield County Courthouse during First Friday.
Men 18 and older can register for $50 and teams of up to eight members can register for $350. Those who register before Friday, April 22, 2022 will receive an event t-shirt.
Red high heels are provided but not required to participate.
Children ages 2-17 can also participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes for $20, and youth teams with unlimited members can join for $150. Since high heels and t-shirts are not available in youth sizes, children are encouraged to wear their school colors or team uniform.
To register, visit www.bit.ly/WalkAMile2022 or stop by YWCA Enid, 525 S. Quincy.
Check-in, shoe fitting and walk-in registration will begin at 6 p.m. on May 6 at the Gazebo. Then, at 6:30 p.m., participants will walk the interior sidewalks of the courthouse. An awards ceremony will close the event.
Walkers are encouraged to dress creatively and make signs to wear during Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. A special raffle basket filled with male-centric items donated by local businesses will also be featured at this year’s event.
Sponsorships are available to help fundraise for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. For more information, contact the YWCA by calling (580) 234-7581 or emailing [email protected]
The fundraiser supports YWCA programs for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, including its crisis center, counseling services and free forensic examinations for sexual assault cases.
Strzinek said the community response to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes since it began has been great, and many local men, including law enforcement, first responders, military, businessmen and other members of the community, have supported the event in the past.
“Anyone who participates in this can be considered a safe person to turn to – if any of their friends or family are in a situation where they need help,” Strzinek said.
Strzinek said the ultimate goal is to stop interpersonal violence before it starts, and raising awareness helps encourage prevention.
Last year’s event saw over 100 attendees.
“We are grateful that the community is really engaged in raising awareness and preventing sexual assault,” Strzinek said.
For more information on Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Strzinek can be reached by calling (580) 234-7644 or emailing [email protected]
The YWCA Enid Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline, available 24/7, is (580) 234-7644 or (800) 966-7644.
McKendrick is a police officer and forensic reporter for Enid News & Eagle.
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