October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Monday, the Domestic Violence Coalition, Mayor Jeff Tilton and members of the community joined together for the "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" Event, to raise awareness about the pressing issue of domestic violence. Chairman of the event, Dorothy Thomas said that while the celebrity walk added a little bit of humor to the event, it still proves a point for the cause.
"I want them to know what it is like to walk in somebody else’s shoes" said Thomas, "and how hard it was to accomplish what they have done. So, afterwards I plan on asking them that."
And she did just that. Mayor Tilton commented on the difficulties he faced finding shoes that actually fit him at a size 13, and Sheriff Lutz talked about the pain he felt after walking just a short distance in his bright orange stilettos. Attorney Ron Welch, who has been prosecuting domestic violence cases for the past 16 years, tells us how important he feels events like these are.
"Events like these raise public awareness and I think that is the biggest hurtle that we face in domestic violence prosecution, is that people really want to ask why is a victim staying when, as it was is aptly mentioned by another speaker tonight, the question should be ‘why is the abuser abusing?’" said Welch.
Mayor Tilton opened the event at 5:00 p.m. with a speech, followed by the celebrity and community walks. The event wrapped up with a candlelight vigil at 8:00 p.m. If you would like more information about the domestic violence coalition or information on domestic violence, you can go to www.Odvn.Org or www.Ncadv.Org/resources/factsheets.Php