In Her Shoes: Walkers bring awareness to domestic violence
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
Safenet Services held the organization’s third consecutive Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser Saturday morning at Claremore’s Ne-Mar Center.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an International women’s march that raises awareness to stop rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. Men, women, children and dogs participated in the mile-long event.
Participants walked from the Per4mance Physical Therapy parking lot to Will Rogers Park and back, some wearing heels, holding up signs advocating to stop sexual abuse.
Safenet Director Donna Grabow kicked off the walk by quoting a Japanese proverb, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
The proverb sums up what the campaign against abuse is all about, shes said.
“It’s not one person, it’s not two people, but a community that has to stand up and say ‘we do not want crime in our area and we will not allow any abusers to not be held accountable.’ That’s the key,” said Grabow.
Because the majority of those affected by sexual assaut are women, Grabow said she does not want men to think that advocates hate them.
“We love men that stand up and do not believe in treating anyone with any kind of abuse. We love men that respect, share dignity with each other and help each other.”
Claremore Mayor Mickey Perry was among the crowd to thank patrons who participated in support of the cause.
“This is not a law enforcement problem. All of us together can break the cycle of abuse,” he said. “I appreciate all of you.”
Last year’s event raised more than $15,000 and Grabow said everyone is hoping to see that number double this year. She said a few of the participating teams raised more than $500 and one team raised close to $900.
Participants who raised $50 or more received a bag of prizes and gifts donated by local businesses.
Safenet Services assists victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Rogers and Mayes County through services, including a domestic abuse shelter.
In addition to their shelter, Safenet now offers a sexual assault advocate who will begin support groups for survivors.