East Hawaii News

‘Walk a Mile’ Awareness-Raising Events This Month

October 9, 2013, 10:14 AM HST
* Updated October 11, 9:18 AM
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Big Island residents will have two opportunities this month – actually three, if you count events on both sides of the island – to show their support for women and the issues of sexual assault, rape and gender violence.

The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” events involve men, women and children literally walking one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes to raise awareness about the causes, effects and solutions to sexualized violence.

High-heeled shoes in various sizes will be available to participants on a first-come, first-served basis. However, those are not mandatory and any shoe may be worn.

Organizers note that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and a call to end sexual assault, rape and gender violence in the community.

The first event will held Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo campus, and is sponsored by the UH Hilo Men of Strength.

Registration for the sixth annual walk lasts from 10:30 to 11 a.m. A keynote address by Hawai`i County Prosecutor Mitch Roth will precede the walk.

To register or obtain information, call 974-7312 or visit [email protected]

The YWCA’s third annual walk will be held simultaneously in Hilo and Kona on Saturday, Oct. 26, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The East Hawai`i location is the YWCA’s Ululani Street campus while the West Hawai`i version will be held at the Kona International Market.

Karen Hayashida, YWCA board president, noted the events are inspired by the saying, “You can’t understand a person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

“Every three hours someone on Hawaii Island is sexually assaulted, which is unacceptable,” Hayashida said. “The community must work together to create a safer, healthier place to live and work.”

The YWCA walks will be led by Mayor Billy Kenoi in Hilo and Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau in Kona. Also participating will be Fire Chief Darren Rosario, Roth, Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira, radio personality J.E. Orozco and Chief Harry Kubojiri, Deputy Chief Paul Ferreira and Assistant Chief Paul Kealoha of the Hawaii Police Department.

March participants are asked to report to the kick-off sites by 7:30 a.m. to register, select their shoes and warm up for the event. All participants must complete and entry form and submit a $25 fee.

The community is invited to participate and help raise funds to meet the $25,000 goal.

Visit ywcahawaiiisland.org or call the YWCA office at 935-7141 for information.

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