DASAS to host virtual ‘Walk a Mile’ challenge

THREE RIVERS — A new virtual challenge will support survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

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

To participate, register online at dasasmi.networkforgood.com/events/22075-700-walk-a-mile-challenge.

The challenge can be completed from Aug. 1 to 11:59 p.m. Aug. 22 by walking a mile or more and posting a photo on social media using the hastag #DASASWalkaMil, tagging DASAS or sending the photo to info@dasasmi.org. Participants who pledge to walk three or more miles will be mailed an event T-shirt.

DASAS has a goal of reaching more than 700 miles walked, and all proceeds will go toward DASAS programs.

“While our excitement for our upcoming event is high, we know we have a commitment to our community’s health and safety,” said Interim Executive Director Deborah Hackworth. “In an effort to avoid bringing large groups together, we have decided to create tis virtual challenge. The goal is to reach a total of 700-plus 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, officials said. 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.

Rather than meeting in person, DASAS officials ask participants to wear shoes symbolizing a person they know who was or is being abused or assaulted, or the shoes of a group of victims about which a participants wants to raise awareness.

Businesses can contact McKenna a t( 269) 273-6977 for sponsorship information.

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