Midlands' men strap on the heels to raise awareness for sexual v - DatelineCarolina

Midlands' men strap on the heels to raise awareness for sexual violence

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Walkers drew attention from people as they strutted through downtown Columbia Thursday, April 6. Walkers drew attention from people as they strutted through downtown Columbia Thursday, April 6.
Board member Phil Bailey says his favorite part of the event is watching the men try to maintain their balance in the heels. Board member Phil Bailey says his favorite part of the event is watching the men try to maintain their balance in the heels.

By Eric Cirillo, Carolina News

Crowds gathered at the State House Thursday evening to strap on the heels for the 8th annual "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes" event. Men and women came out to support the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands to raise awareness and end sexual violence in the community by walking a mile in women's heels.

Phil Bailey has been a board member for four years and says this event is important for the community because of the awareness that it raises.

"Folks need to know that there is an agency that's here to serve survivors of sexual violence," said Bailey. "You get the guys out there wearing the high heels, sometimes making a fool of themselves, but it's all go a good cause."

One of those guys is Hunter Meyer, who is not originally from South Carolina, but felt it was necessary to come out and support the cause.

"A little bit of pain for us goes a long way to show we are in this together no matter who you are," said Meyer. "I kept fearing I was going to fall into a grate."

Meyer said this event shows what a strong community Columbia is.

"I think it shows that we are a fun community, but we are serious about making this a safe community for everyone," said Meyer.

Walker, Nathan Sundell, is a father of three and says he walks for the future of the community.

"We’ve shown an entire mile of the downtown area who we are and what we’re gonna do for the community," said Sundell. "As well as give a few people in their cars some laughs as they walk by."

In the end, the pain of walking a mile in heels is worth the cause.

"I can provide a certain amount of assurance that victims will be provided the comfort and safety that they need in the community," said Sundell.

All proceeds from the event go to Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands to help survivors of sexual assault and violence.

For more information visit the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands website https://www.stsm.org/.

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