Walk a Mile in Their Shoes 2020 - Virtual Challenge and a Name Change


In this episode Dan Moyle talks with Deborah Hackworth (Interim Executive Director), McKenna Bowdish (Walk committee Chair) and Ned Haylett (past President and Walk supporter) about the changes coming to this year's Walk a Mile event for DASAS.


Domestic And Sexual Abuse Services will host a 3-week virtual fundraiser in place of its regularly-scheduled in-person “Walk a Mile” event for 2020. Due to the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic, DASAS has turned the Three Rivers event into a virtual challenge where participants take part wherever they are.


“While our excitement for our upcoming event is high, we know we have a commitment to our community's health and safety,” Interim Executive Director Deborah Hackworth says. “In an effort to avoid bringing large groups together, we have decided to create this virtual challenge. The goal is to reach a total of 700+ miles together, walking or running, to represent the 700+ survivors who received help from our DASAS Programs in 2019. We know that as supporters walk with our clients on their hearts and minds, the money will come. We have such a generous network.”


Also new this year is the name of the event. For several years DASAS hosted the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event. While the walk has always been successful, DASAS leadership recognized that the event has not been truly inclusive of all individuals, nor called attention to all victims. For example, one out of every seven men is physically abused in intimate partner relationships, and one in six individuals is sexually assaulted as a child. Yet, in the past, our Walk a Mile event has focused solely on women as victims. 


In addition, DASAS was concerned that men wearing heels in such a playful manner may be insensitive to individuals with nontraditional gender identity or sexual orientation. In order to host an event that is inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations, DASAS made a few changes to the event for 2020.​


This event is open to everyone— people of all genders and ages— making this a fully inclusive and family event. Rather than meeting in person, DASAS asks you to wear shoes symbolizing a person whom you know who was or is being abused or assaulted, or the shoes of a group of victims about which you particularly want to raise awareness. In this way, we can also honor male victims and child victims (perhaps by tying children’s shoes around your neck for the walk).


Here’s how you can take part. We encourage individuals to challenge their friends and family to take the Walk-A-Mile Challenge. This can be completed at any time between August 1 thru Saturday, August 22 at 11:59 p.m. Participants can complete their walk/run at any time between August 1 and Saturday, August 22 at 11:59 p.m., all you have to do is:

  • Register online https://dasasmi.networkforgood.com/events/22075-700-walk-a-mile-challenge

  • Take a photo or video of yourself walking or running a mile (or more!)

  • Post the photo or video on Facebook- use hashtag #DASASWalkaMile, tag DASAS, or email info@dasasmi.org so DASAS can feature you! Include how many miles you walked/run to help DASAS meet their goal of 700+ miles

  • If you pledge to walk 3 miles or more, DASAS will mail you a Walk a Mile in Their Shoes t-shirt!

Proceeds will support the Survivors and DASAS Programs. 


Businesses can contact McKenna at 269-273-6977 for sponsorship information.

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If you need resources or help in any way, call our 24 hour hotline at 800-828-2023 or visit www.DASASMI.org.


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The mission of Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services is to lead efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault in southwest Michigan. 

We will assist domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in clarifying their options, accessing community services that support personal choice and will provide a safe place for survivors and their children.  It is our strong desire to walk alongside survivors on their journey, whatever that may look like. 

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