Are you ready? It’s almost time to Walk a Mile with Blackburn Center. Our signature event, WALK a MILE in Their HER His Our SHOES®, takes place each April. This walk is Westmoreland County’s opportunity to take a stand against all forms of gender-based violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. Through the Walk, we raise awareness about these important issues, as well as funds to support our work.
In 2020, we cancelled our Walk due to the pandemic. For the same reason, we held our 2021 Walk in a virtual format. In 2022, we are thrilled to be walking together — in person — for our 11th annual WALK a MILE in Their HER His Our SHOES event.
We can’t wait to see you there!
The Walk will take place on April 23, 2022 at St. Clair Park in Greensburg.
Registration begins at 9:00 a.m., and the Walk itself will start at 10:00 a.m. Can’t make it to St. Clair Park? Not a problem — walk in a location of your choosing.
Registration for the Walk costs just $5, and is free for children under 12 years old. You can learn more about the registration process here.
In Western Pennsylvania, the weather for April is always a bit up in the air. For our past Walks, we have had rain, snow, and even perfect 60 degree days. We recommend that you check the forecast before heading out to join us at St. Clair Park. Regardless of the weather, we will WALK!
Of course, the situation with COVID-19 is ever-changing. While our plan is to walk together, that may not be possible. If necessary, we will shift the Walk to a virtual format to ensure the health and safety of our community as a whole.
Why We Walk
The numbers on gender-based violence in the United States are startling:
Every 68 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted.
Almost 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner each minute.
1 in 7 woman and 1 in 18 men have been stalked in their lifetime.
81% of women and 43% of men have experienced sexual harassment.
Individuals with disabilities are nearly four times as likely to be victims of violence, compared to people without disabilities.
Approximately 1 in 10 elderly Americans have experienced a form of elder abuse.
In 2020 alone, 10,583 situations of human trafficking were reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Our annual WALK a MILE in Their HER His Our SHOES® is a way for us to shine a spotlight on these and other forms of gender-based violence.
Each year, women, children and men come together to participate in the Walk. Many of our male walkers choose to wear high heels, to take an extra step in understanding what women experience every day. Walking in high heel shoes is a symbol of the difficulties and challenges that women face every day. This includes being on guard against the possibility of a sexual assault, experiencing sexual harassment, dealing with the aftermath of violence in their home, and for some, walking the path of healing following an assault.
When male walkers wear high heels at our event, we ask that they do so in the spirit of the Walk. Wearing high heels is not meant to mock women who wear high heels, to glorify masculinity, or to make a statement that only women can or should wear high heels. As an organization, we strongly affirm the right of all people to express their gender in whatever way they choose.
We also recognize that anyone can be a victim of gender-based violence. Issues such as domestic and sexual violence can affect anyone regardless of gender, race, sexuality, religion, or economic status. The goal of our Walk is to raise awareness about gender-based violence right here in our community, and to offer support to ALL victims and survivors.
Will You Walk with Us?
In recent years, more than 1,100 people have joined us to WALK a MILE in Their HER His Our SHOES. In 2022, we hope to have more than 1,500 people participate — helping to raise awareness and support for our mission. Will you help us reach our goal?
As always, if you need help, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call anytime at 1-888-832-2272 to speak to a trained crisis counselor (TDD available).