Mary found herself trapped in an abusive relationship. Mary faced demeaning and degrading comments daily, but when the abuse turned physical, Mary knew she had to leave. It was through her own knowledge of the non-profit sector that Mary found herself seeking refuge at YW’s Sheriff King Home crisis shelter. There she got the courage to leave and pursue her dreams. Today, Mary is thriving and credits her counsellor with helping build her self-confidence back up again.

We’re a little over a month away from Stephen Avenue becoming a sea of pink, red and sparkly silver high heels donned by women and men stepping up to help women and their children walk away from violence and abuse in their homes. On September 18, 2018, the women and men who have rallied their friends and family to participate or donate to help end domestic abuse become a visible symbol of support for women and their families who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.

YW WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES is a fun and light-hearted event that tackles a very serious issue continuing to plague our city: domestic abuse. Alberta has one of the highest rates of intimate partner violence in Canada coming in third next to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Every hour of every day, a woman in Alberta is a victim of some form of violence by a current or an ex-partner or an ex-spouse.

In Calgary, the rise of domestic abuse statistics continues, with the Calgary Police Service reporting domestic violence incidents were 34 per cent higher last year than the five-year average and up six per cent from the year prior.  We also know that these figures only speak to the reported incidents of domestic violence. To break that down, Calgary police received more than 18,500 domestic conflict calls in 2017. That’s more than 50 calls per day. It’s likely you know a woman who has experienced some form of violence or abuse.

While some might think it’s silly to walk down Stephen Avenue in high heels, the commitment and dedication of the women and men who participate and fundraise for YW WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES® helps to ensure YW can continue to provide critical support to women and their children. They also take a stand as community members to say domestic abuse needs to end in our city and by rallying their friends and family, they help spread this important message.

If you want to step up and take a stand to help break the cycle of domestic abuse in our city, register today! Click here to register as a team or an individual. If you can’t walk this year but want to make a donation click here. If you know someone participating and want to donate to them, click here.

All donations ensure YW Calgary continues to help women, men and children through emergency shelter, housing, counselling, outreach and family access services.