It’s time to get those red heels ready!
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has been an annual fundraising event. Typically, men and boys have put on red high heels to walk and raise awareness of gender-based violence.
But, this year on Sept. 24, the annual event, now entering it’s twelfth year, has a new name.
Walk a Mile in ‘Their’ Shoes recognizes that gender-based violence not only impacts women. It also impacts 2SLGBTQ+ individuals.
Participants walk in solidarity with survivors of violence where each year in Canada, over 75,000 women and children flee their homes to escape violence. The pandemic has seen that number increase.
After a two-year hiatus, Rosalind Gunn, director of Communications and Advocacy at YWCA Cambridge, is ready to welcome everyone back in person and in their heels.
“For two years we were virtual. So, we are really excited to be back in person this year,” Gunn said.
Gunn said the event has certainly had some history in past years.
“It was a men’s walk originally where men and boys took responsibility to help end gender-based violence. We know that while many experience gender-based violence, statistics say that women in hetero relationships tend to be at higher risk of violence from their intimate partner,” Gunn said.
“The event has morphed over the years and other YWCA’s across Canada also take on this event. It’s really about gathering men in the community and their families to join in this walk to campaign and help end gender-based violence.”
But times are changing, which is why, Gunn says, the name was changed to Walk a Mile in Their Shoes.
“The name change recognizes that gender violence impacts so many of us.”
YWCA Cambridge, hopes more people will participate this year as the number of people reporting domestic violence continues to increase across the region.
“This is in recognition of the fact that many have experienced gender-based violence and our 2SLGBTQ+friends and neighbours experience it at pretty alarming rates, as do people of colour, and people with disabilities,” Gunn said.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes, where all ages, gender identities and abilities are invited to take part, also helps in raising much needed funds to support prevention work offered through the YWCA Cambridge.
“Specifically, for the Cambridge YWCA, we do a lot of community-based programming with youth across Waterloo Region. The demand for our programs exceeds what we can offer,” Gunn said.
YWCA Cambridge is a member of YWCA Canada which is a women's multi-service organization and is the largest national provider of shelter, literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs, and the second largest provider of childcare services in Canada.
For over 65 years, YWCA Cambridge has been a leader on issues that impact women and girls in the community.
“Our programming is based on this ethos of violence prevention, trying to work with youth to develop a sense of identity, confidence, and understanding of consent and autonomy,” Gunn said.
On Sept. 24, participants walk a mile in downtown Galt, then meet in front of City Hall for a BBQ and awards ceremony to recognize top fundraisers.
Participants are invited to register as an individual or team.
Participants can register for the Walk a Mile in Their Shoes event online through the YWCA Cambridge website.