More than 100 Tazewell County men raised a combined $11,000 and counting towards sexual assault and domestic violence awareness.
Dozens of them came out Sunday April 9, 2017, to the Clinch Valley Community Action’s third annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event at Tazewell Elementary School.
“I think it’s really an honor to get out here and walk for these and honor these women who have suffered through domestic violence,” Jake Laney, Tazewell County native, said. “And it’s crazy to know it goes on in your own hometown.”
“It’s a really good cause,” Stewart Whitt, another county resident, added. “And I think women need help, especially abused women.”
The men participating in this event walked four laps of the track at the elementary school, which is equal to an entire mile. Some of them needed a little coaching and advice from a high heel walking expert.
“Be confident, strut your stuff,” Courtney Oxford, Miss Washington County United States, said. “Don’t worry if you fall or not, you still look good wearing the heels!”
Several law enforcement officers took part in the event.
Dewitt Cooper, Tazewell police chief, said this event offers support to a cause that he believes is in need of more attention.
“Women do face a lot of domestic violence,” Cooper said. “We as men don’t think about the issues when we put pressure on them and we do certain things. So this a good way to make people aware of it.”
Each Walk a Mile in Her Shoes participant raised at least $100. Jennifer Bourne, Clinch Valley Community Action family crisis services director, said every cent is crucial to the organization.
“Most programs like ours is a non-profit,” Bourne said. “It’s funded primarily from state and federal grants. So having local support like this is important to offset costs to pay for things that certain grants won’t pay for.”
“I think it’s really important for not only men, but every person to see and understand what Clinch Valley Community Action does for these women; takes them in and gives them shelter and whatever they need,” Laney said.
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