By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- It's not often that one gets to see grown men traipsing around town in red high heels, but that's exactly the picture the public will be privy to at Safe Space's annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes event this October.
Men of all ages, many of whom will be sporting bright red stilettos, will come together at three locations on Saturdays in October in an effort to show their opposition to domestic violence and their support of the work Safe Space does.
Because real men step up.
Women and children are invited, too, of course, but it's the brawny males dedicated to walking a mile in four-inch heels that really raises awareness for victims of domestic violence.
Jill Borowicz, CEO of Safe Space, knows that in the battle against domestic violence, women can't stand alone.
"We want men in this fight with us," Mrs. Borowicz said. "We want them to walk hand-in-hand with us in this."
Mrs. Borowicz knows it's a difficult topic to discuss, but the event helps raise awareness and funds for Safe Space's many protective and empowering services in a fun and lighthearted way.
Families walk together, red footwear abounds, signs are raised in support and awards are even given to the largest team at each event, the most spirited walker, and the walker who raised the most money.
"It's a really fun way of getting out a very serious message," Mrs. Borowicz said.
It also helps raise awareness for Safe Space and their services, including education programs, support groups, court advocacy and emergency shelters for women experiencing domestic violence.
Last year 350 men alone came out and slipped into a pair of heels and about $40,000 was raised at all three walk locations. There were double the participants and double the revenue of the previous year and Mrs. Borowicz hopes to see that level of success again this year.
"It's such a pleasure to see so many men out there saying 'I'm against this,'" Mrs. Borowicz said.
The walks will take place in Downtown Stuart on Oct. 26, Tradition in Port St. Lucie on Oct. 12, and Indian River Mall in Vero Beach on Oct. 26.
Those wanting to participate, with or without the red high heels, can register for $50 online at www.safespaceFL.org/events. Donations and event partnerships can also be made online.
Pre-walk events at local restaurants are also scheduled August through October in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties to get people excited and raise additional funds for Safe Space.
"If you believe violence has no place in any relationship, come on out and join us," Mrs. Borowicz said. "We want our community to be partners with us in saving and changing lives."
Martin County pre-events will take place Sept. 12, from 5:30-8 p.m. at Wahoo's Riverhouse in Stuart, Sept. 20 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Carson's Tavern in Stuart.
St. Lucie County pre-events include an event on Sept. 12, from 6-9 p.m. at Shindig's Irish Pub in Port St. Lucie.
Indian River County events include an Oct. 19 event at Blue Star Wine Bar and an event yet to be determined at Waldo's.
For more information, visit www.safespaceFL.org/events.