This Thursday, the YWCA is holding the 7th annual Walk a Mile in Their Shoes event in downtown Regina. The community-based fundraiser asks supporters to raise awareness on gender-based violence by stepping into a pair of red shoes and participating in a walk through the city’s core.
Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence in Canada, double the national average. According to the YWCA website, the Regina Police Service responded to 6583 domestic conflict calls in 2022. This year, police are responding to an average of around 19 calls per day.
“More than anything, the YWCA works to empower women,” said YWCA spokesperson Meghan Trenholm. “To do something in public like wearing red shoes or being loud and proud about supporting women in our community who are getting out of really hard situations at home, we are hoping to empower those who maybe see those folks walking to be a little more brave to make choices that empower themselves to get in a safer, healthier place.”
The YWCA runs the Isabel Johnson Shelter downtown. Just this year, they’ve been forced to turn away over 500 women and nearly 200 children due to a high demand of services and long wait-lists. Nearly 80-per-cent of people who access YWCA Regina’s emergency shelters are doing so because they’re fleeing violence.
In January, the YWCA received $3 million from the provincial government for the construction of a new shelter facility. The YWCA Regina Centre for Women and Families is expected to open in the fall of 2024 and will be about 85,000 square feet while the current building is about 68,000 square feet.
The walk begins at 12 p.m. on Thursday at City Square Plaza. Those interested in participating and/or donating can register online any time or at the plaza an hour before the walk starts.
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