March Against Domestic Abuse: Red Shoes Step Forward in Regina Event

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As a sea of red shoes, from heels to flats and every style between, descended on Pat Fiacco Plaza, the motives went beyond just the apparent playful style. The vibrant red footwear signified a pledge to discuss and combat gender-based violence and related issues plaguing our community.

Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, YWCA Regina’s CEO, explains that the red shoes aren’t merely a fashion accessory. The red shoes and the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event are symbolic gestures of commitment, support, and awareness for a significant cause. This annual fundraising event aids the YWCA’s Issabelle Johnson Centre while championing awareness about domestic abuse and it’s effects on the victims. The most recent event saw participation from over 275 individuals.

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Meghan Trenholm, the YWCA’s digital marketing and communications manager, ties the private discomfort of those unaccustomed to heels to the challenging journey abuse survivors embark on. “Embracing smaller steps like donning red or braving uncomfortable heels mirrors the journeys families in domestic violence situations undertake to seek safety,” she says.

Amid the gathering, a chilling reality shrouds Saskatchewan – it currently reports the highest domestic violence rate across the country. A considerable number of attendees at the event are survivors of such abuse, and their experiences underscore the urgency of the issue.

Among the crowd, Candyce Bakke, owner of The Style Academy, recalls her past as a 22-year-old victim of abuse. “That’s when I understood the struggle our province faces. It’s disheartening that the problem persists,” she admits. In her quest for change, she believes that healing begins when the pain from the past transforms into a force that aids others in a similar predicament.

Donations can be made directly to the YWCA Regina website, where further resources and support can be found for those facing domestic violence or anyone who knows someone in such distress.