Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to raise awareness for domestic violence set for Friday, Oct. 4

The 8th annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event, a men’s march to not only bring awareness of domestic violence in our community, but to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence, will be held on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. The family-friendly event begins with registration at 11 a.m. with the walk beginning at 12 p.m. at BB&T Park on North Wall Street in downtown Calhoun.

Hosted by the Gordon County Domestic Violence Outreach Office and United Way of Gordon County, all proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence in Gordon County.

Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston is again scheduled to be on hand to address the crowd before the walk begins.

Registration to walk in the event is $15 per participant. Traditionally, the men who participate wear high-heels as a way to show unity and take a stand against domestic violence, but women and children are also invited to participate.

Legal Advocate Debbie Lane with Gordon County Domestic Violence Outreach Office said that the statistics provided by the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) concerning domestic violence continue to worsen each year.

The State of Georgia has 46 state-certified domestic violence programs and 22 state-funded sexual assault centers. According to the GCADV website, between Oct. 2017 and Sept. 2018, almost 46,000 domestic violence crisis line calls were answered in the state of Georgia, with more than 10,000 rape and sexual assault crisis line calls answered in the same time period.

The GCADV says that, statistically, around 70 percent of domestic violence deaths in Georgia each year are committed using firearms, with 850 Georgians killed by firearms in domestic violence incidents between 2010 and 2018.

Another need to raise awareness for domestic violence is the current gaps in victim services; in the state of Georgia, more than 2700 victims and their children were turned away from domestic violence shelters due to lack of bed space in 2018.

Domestic violence is defined as one or more of the following:

Does your partner…

Hit, kick, shove, or injure you?

Use weapons/objects against you or threaten you?

Force or coerce you to engage in unwanted sexual acts?

Threaten to hurt you or others, have you deported, disclose your sexual orientation, or other personal information?

Steal or destroy your belongings?

Constantly criticize you, call you names, or put you down?

Deny your basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, or medical and physical assistance?

Control what you do and who you want to see?

Make you feel afraid?

Anyone who ever feels threatened by a partner should call the local 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 706-278-5586; TTY: 706-529-9336.

Anyone wishing to participate in the annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event is asked to show up to BB&T Park in downtown Calhoun on Friday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m. to register for the walk. For more information, call the Gordon County Domestic Violence Office at 706-625-5586.