Raquel Alonzo, The Paisano

On Saturday, Oct. 8, Kendall County hosted its sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in Boerne, Texas to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Male participants wore red heels or flats and walked Main Street, from San Antonio Street to U.S. Highway 46, finishing at the Kendall County Courthouse.

“Domestic violence and rape crisis awareness is important because it could happen to anyone,” said Cristina Garcia, senior professional writing major. “It could even happen to you or me. Knowing what a healthy relationship looks like can help you evaluate your own relationship to make sure it’s healthy.”

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is not only a walk held in Boerne but is also an international effort to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. The red shoes the men wore are symbols that also allow them to assume a woman’s perspective and in turn raise awareness for the cause.

The county’s participation showed that it will lend a helping hand and have a safe place for women to go to if they find themselves in these situations. The men participated to show that they will not tolerate violence against women to learn more about how they can help.

“By being more educated about the signs of domestic violence and rape, you can help educate more people,” Garcia said.

Donations were welcome both online and in person. All proceeds went to the Kendall County Women’s Shelter (KCWS), which provides victims of domestic violence with emergency shelter, food and support services such as legal advocacy, case management, social service referral, counseling, support groups and parenting and life skills classes.

Escaping domestic violence is not easy—especially when children and pets are involved. This is why the shelter houses not only women of domestic violence but also their children and pets. KCWS reported, in 2015, they provided 206 victims of domestic violence with 6,451 nights of safety and 49 pets with 1,709 nights of safety.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was held during the county festival which included food tents, bakeries, local shop vendors, tricycle racing, turtle racing and a classic car show, which was none other than the 30th annual Key to the Hills Rod Run that showcases hot rods from around the country dating from the years 1949-1964.

The timing meant that not only the residents of Kendall County but also out-of-towners visiting the Rod Run were able to witness the walk. The participants were met with a round of applause as they ended their journey at the Kendall County Courthouse.

For more information on KCWS, visit kcwstexas.org or call 1-800-495-8078.

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