YWCA’s Sexual Assault Support Services program is our island’s main source of crisis intervention, care,…
YWCA ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ men’s march raises $16,000 to benefit Sexual Assault Support Services
HILO, HI (Nov. 22, 2022)—Men from across the county, including Police Chief Kenneth Bugado, joined YWCA of Hawaii Island in alliance against rape, sexual assault and gender violence for the organization’s 13th Annual Walk A Mile in Her Shoes march on October 29.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is the main fundraiser for YWCA’s Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) program. Held as a virtual walk for the past two years due to COVID, courageous “men in heels” returned in person this year, helping the event raise more than $16,000.
In addition to Chief Bugado, honorary Lead Walkers at the head of the march were Fire Chief Kazuo Todd, Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen, Mayor Mitch Roth’s Executive Assistant Barrett Otani, and beloved radio deejay Darrin “DC” Carlson (sporting classic closed toe kitten heel pumps with an 80s disco theme).
While fun and light-hearted—it’s quite the eye-opener to see men marching one mile in women’s shoes through downtown Hilo—the event’s true purpose is to acknowledge the many sexual assault survivors in our Big Island community.
For more than 40 years, YWCA of Hawai‘i Island has provided SASS services for both victims and survivors—including women, men, girls, and boys ranging from age ninety to less than a year old. The agency’s free, island-wide services include a 24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline [(808) 935-0677], a Medical Forensic Exam Program and counseling support for the survivor and family members.
YWCA of Hawaii Island held its first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event in 2009. CEO Kathleen McGilvray said, “We march to publicly address one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a person, and let the community know we are here to help.”
SASS responds to approximately 2,150 crisis and support calls from or on behalf of victims of sexual violence per year. SASS is the only such resource available to them on Hawai‘i Island.
2022 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event sponsors were: Hilo Medical Center, Hawaiian Electric, HFS Federal Credit Union, Kandi’s Drive Inn, Matson, and Iris Kuwaye/State Farm Insurance. Donations to the fundraiser can still be made through the end of the year at https://tinyurl.com/36nj3yxp.
About YWCA of Hawaii Island
Established in 1919, YWCA of Hawaii Island is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
To accomplish this mission, YWCA of Hawaii Island has evolved to address some of the most pressing needs of the community. Today, its three core programs are Sexual Assault Support Services, the YWCA Preschool, and Healthy Families.
YWCA of Hawaii Island is part of YWCA USA, the oldest and largest national women’s organization with the mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. Nationally, the YWCA represents 2 million women, girls and their families in the US each year. Globally, YWCA USA is a member of World YWCA, which has affiliates in over 100 countries that serve 25 million women and girls worldwide.
YWCA of Hawaii Island is headquartered at 145 Ululani St. in Hilo. Telephone: (808) 935-7141; on the web at www.ywcahawaiiisland.org.