September 20, 2017 4:27 pm
Updated: September 20, 2017 4:32 pm

Edmonton men Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and raise more than $192K

Over 400 men took to 104 Street in downtown Edmonton for the 2017 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED
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Over 400 men strapped on high heels Wednesday afternoon to take part in the annual YWCA Walk A Mile In Her Shoes campaign.

The event aims to raise awareness and money for domestic violence prevention programs.

READ MORE: Lethbridge men strap on high heels to support the YWCA

Amber Niemeir, the director of communications for the YWCA told 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen that last year the Edmonton Police Service responded to over 8,500 domestic violence calls.

“That means we need to do a better job of providing both recovery and prevention services,” Niemeir said. “The YWCA’s role in that is to advocate for some policy change, but also to offer things like affordable counseling and youth programming. (That) ensures people are getting into healthy relationship, out of unhealthy relationships and also that we’re there if domestic violence has occurred.”

LISTEN: Amber Niemeir and Jackie Foord with YWCA Edmonton talk to 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen about Walk a Mile in her Shoes

The campaign was looking to raise $190,000 this year and blasted past that with emcee J’lyn Nye, along with Jespersen, announcing at the event that over $192,000 had already been raised.

“Most of the money that we raise today will go right to our counselling centre,” Jackie Foord, the CEO of the Edmonton YWCA said.

“The sad reality about our counselling centre is that we are one of, if not the only, counselling centre left in the city where if you can’t afford to pay anything, you don’t pay anything.”

READ MORE: The cycle of conjugal violence: What does it take for a woman to leave?

Part of the counselling centre is a team of psychologists who specialize in domestic violence and trauma. Foord calls them “sought after professionals,” but said the problem with having those professionals is they’re in high demand. Last year the YWCA had a four month wait list.

“If we had sustainable, steady funding we could hire more psychologists,” Foord said. “That would be the simplest (thing). There’s just so much demand, that we could put more people in our office, change the layout of our office a little bit… and we could serve more people. That doesn’t necessarily mean though, that that’s going to end the flow.”

There is still time to make donations to the campaign.

Any donations made by Sept. 30, will be matched up to 50 per cent through Birdies for Kids by AltaLink.

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