By Ashley Wiles
Monday, March 11, marked the fifth year that Fort Hays State University has participated in Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes. Walk-A-Mile is hosted by the Greek Fraternities on FHSU campus. This event consists of a mile-long march where men participate in high heels to raise funds and promote awareness of domestic violence and abuse against women.
Participants and supporters gathered in Cody Commons to listen to speakers from the Jana Mackey Foundation and Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence., an advocacy group for victims of domestic abuse.
These speakers talked about how this type of violence can impact one’s life and the people around the victim. They spoke on ways one going through this type of violence could obtain help and protection.[raw][quote_right] This year $2,000 was raised and given to Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence services in Hays, beating last year’s total of $833.42. [/quote_right][/raw]
“It was great because I feel we had more community support with donations and awareness,” said Josh Doak, host of this year’s event. “It really was a great five-year anniversary.”
This year also included keynote speaker Curt Brungardt, stepfather of Jana Mackey, who was also killed by her ex-boyfriend. Brungardt asked all the men in the audience to help fight domestic and sexual abuse by not partaking in any such activity, whether it be verbal or physical.
Options is an organization dedicated to those who have been a victim or are in fear of sexual or domestic violence. Last year alone, according to its website, www.help4abuse.org, Options helped 453 individuals, answered 325 hotline calls and provided 35 adults and 48 children with safe shelter. This group offers its services to 18 counties in Northwest Kansas.