Step up and walk a mile in her shoes: SASS

Step up and walk a mile in her shoes: SASS
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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – Dozens of men will brave the pain of walking in red high heels to raise awareness for women who endure the agony of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Sexual Assault Support Services for Women of SDG&A’s fourth edition of the walk takes place at Lamoureux Park beside the splash pad on Saturday, May 30.

“This event is about men taking a stance for women,” said Angela Vinet, executive director at SASS.

In 2014, a group of 50 participants varying in ages helped raise $6,000.

Once again, manly men will be asked to strut their stuff from the play structure to the former Si Miller Arena site on Montreal Road, before veering back to the starting point.

Vinet said a majority of the funds raised last year went into training counsellors to better serve the community, while the remainder helped with day-to-day operations.

SASS, a non-profit organization based in Cornwall, provides free support to victims/survivors of sexual violence. Services include accompaniment to the police station, hospital, or court, one-on-one counseling, information/support groups, as well as public education.

SASS has one counsellor, Kim Bauserfeld, and is pushing for funding to get another.

Vinet is currently finalizing fourth quarter stats from the April 2014 to April 2015 fiscal year. And the numbers speak volumes.

“We’ve already surpassed last year in our third quarter – I’m estimating we served nearly 200 clients,” she said. “They’re looking for the tools to heal.”

This week alone five new ones walked through the door.

Jillian Reed, public education and volunteer coordinator at SASS, encourages participants to register ahead to save them the trouble of shoe shopping. SASS has 50 pairs of the fancy footwear from sizes 9-14 to lend out, thanks to a grant from the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall.

“If you can’t walk in heels wear your own shoes instead. Either way, we hope everyone comes out to cheer the men on,” said Vinet.

This year, the walk will grow to make it more family-oriented. In addition to a barbecue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Cornwall Fire Department will be on hand as well as various booths including Seaway Slot Racing.

Local businesses, sports teams, and organizations are also encouraged to register and walk a mile in her shoes.

Pledge forms can be picked up at SASS for Women (123 Amelia St.) or Summit Health Fitness (1515 Pitt St.). Registration starts at 10:30 a.m. on site. The walk kicks off at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Jillian Reed at 613-932-1755 ext. 27.

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