Several local people donned their most fabulous pair of high heels and strut their stuff for a mile to bring awareness to sexual violence. The Outreach Centre’s ‘Walk A Mile in her Shoes’ event was held today (September 15) at Westerner Park.
“I'm thrilled, you know anytime the community can come together in an event like this and really raise awareness about the issues of domestic and sexual violence against women and girls is a good day. There's so much of it in our communities and surrounding communities that when we make a public statement like this, those that are living in those situations know that the community cares and that agencies are there to help them,” said Ian Wheeliker, Executive Director for the Central Alberta Outreach Centre.
Wheeliker also fundraised the most in the Individual category at $1,100. In total, $28,000 was fundraised for Red Deer’s Outreach Centre through the event.
“We're so thankful for our sponsors and to the participants and for everybody who donated to the walkers thank you all very much,” said Wheeliker.
He expects more funds to trickle in over the next couple of days.
As we move past the pandemic, Wheeliker believes we will be seeing more individuals requiring help over the course of the next couple of years.
“Our numbers are moving back in terms of clients that are using our services to pre pandemic numbers, but I still think that there's another sort of wave of people that are going to be struggling over the next year—even two years with family, interpersonal violence, sex violence, and mental health,” said Wheeliker.
“I think this has created a lot of fatigue and I think we're going to see that fatigue and stress play out in their families within the next couple of years. We're going to have all our programs primed and ready. We're going to keep our finger on the pulse of the community and their community needs and we’ll be there for people when they need us,” he added.
Wheeliker is pleased to send a loud and clear message to those facing domestic and sexual violence that the community cares about them and that there is help for them.