Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

The dust has settled from the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes last Wednesday and here is an update with pictures.

The weather was perfect. There was a good crowd and, thanks to the support of many friends, our team raised $1703.08! for the Rape Crisis Center of the YWCA Silicon Valley. There are some great pictures below, but there were also some sobering, eye-opening moments for me.

Before the walk, law enforcement and victims vividly described what this event supports. The police chiefs of several local communities explained the vital role YW rape crisis counselors play in helping victims through a horrible ordeal. Not only have they been assaulted and violated, they have become “evidence” for the crime that has been committed and must undergo intensive investigation at a hospital in order to obtain clues about the perpetrator.

A women who was the victim of assault vividly portrayed the support role the YW played for her, both when she was raped and now, twenty years later, as her assailant was let out of jail. The YWCA provides advocates, 24/7, for victims at the hospital, in meetings with police, during trials, and in subsequent emotional healing. The initial assault trauma is followed by court appearances where victims must confront their assailant. The YW staff supports victims’ courageous decisions to find justice and prevent further assaults on others and offers support to see them through.

This event is a light-hearted way to focus on a serious problem that is too easily swept out of sight. And it was definitely a good timenull! See for yourself.

San Jose Mayor and Fire ChiefSan Jose Mayor and Fire Chief San Jose Fire Chief and Police ChiefSan Jose Fire Chief and Police Chief

The YW also has programs on two local high school campuses to help empower young men to speak out against sexual violence. They have a chance to discuss and examine negative stereotypes of masculinity and the connection to violence against women. Some of these guys participated and didn’t mind showing off their fancy shoes.

Students from My Strength program

Students from My Strength program

Although the event is over, the problem is not solved. If you would still like to contribute, our team website will be up and accepting support until July 27. And if this is not your first choice, I would encourage you to give what you can to something—earthquake, tornado victims, education, research, arts—all need our help. As I have learned, a little bit from a lot of people makes a huge difference.

Many thanks to all.

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