"Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" gives help, hope to domestic violence victims

One out of four women will experience domestic violence. The Janesville YWCA gives help and hope to thousands of women each year affected by domestic violence.

For eight years now, hundreds of people have decided the best way to join in a womens' fight against domestic violence, is to put yourself in her shoes.

The statement is quite literal. At 5:30 p.m. men with harry legs and high heels walked around a Janesville block. A statement against domestic violence.

"The event is designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and how anyone can be affected," said Heather Carr, the YWCA development director. "It doesn't mater what socio-economic status, race, gender anything along those lines."

"Well it hurts my heels, and my ankles," said John Ludwig as he laced up 5-inch platform heels and took a quick test walk.

Ludwig is one of the event's biggest fundraisers. He and his team raised around $22,000 this year. The YWCA's overall goal for tonight was $86,000.

"They look like they're easy to walk in, but they're not," said Ludwig.

It may seem like the biggest fundraiser also requires the biggest shoes. He's heading around the block five inches taller. And has done so for five years.

"It's just, it's just for a good cause. That's why I do it," said Ludwig.

After the walk, the rest of the night is a tribute to what they came for.

"I answered the phone, and as soon as I said, 'hello' the first thing he said was, 'we're at the hospital, Jessa's been shot in the head,'" said Melanie Wittman.

She lost her sister to domestic violence. If you'd like to see her fully story, visit Janesville woman fights back against domestic violence.

At the Walk a Mile in her Shoes event, she'll share her story with all the heel-donning supporters.

"Her sister was trying to leave the person abusing her. A number of the families who are participating in the event, who are coming out for the event, have been touched in some way by domestic violence," said Carr.

The money raised tonight will go towards Janesville's two YWCA shelters and housing programs for domestic violence victims: Transitions for Women and Alternative to Violence.

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