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Walk raises awarness about violence against women

Ed Poli unlaces his high heeled boots after marching in Haven Society
Ed Poli unlaces his high heeled boots after marching in Haven Society's Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event Saturday.
— image credit: RACHEL STERN The News Bulletin
Nanaimo men braved blisters and sore feet to raise money for Haven Society and send the message that violence against women isn't acceptable.
Men marched in high heels Saturday afternoon during the second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, which raises awareness and money for Haven Society.
Anne Spilker, executive director, said it's exciting to see how the event has grown since its launch last year and men in the community are supporting the society and showing their solidarity in the fight.
"It is really important for men to start saying no that it's not OK to hurt women and that is has to stop: physical violence, rape, emotional violence all have to stop," she said.  "For men to say that it's not ok - it's fantastic."
Second-year participant Ed Poli said he was prepared for the blisters and sore ankles, but believes the cause is worth a small amount of discomfort.
"It's a cause I believe strongly in," he said. "I'm delighted to do anything to support it."
Poli said often violence against women is perpetrated by men, so it's great that men have a public way to speak out against it.
Participants Dwayne Ross and Jon Chapman were also drawn to the event because they felt it was a good cause.
"As a youth worker, a lot of the youth I work with have been sexually assaulted and for me it's a cause close to my heart," said Chapman.
The event had nearly 35 walkers and attracted about 60 supporters cheering the walkers on and pledging their support.
Haven Society's goal was to raise $15,000. Spilker said donations are still being counted but she expects to pass $10,000. Haven Society is accepting donations until this weekend. Donations can be made online at http://havensociety.com or drop-off a donation or call 250-756-2452.
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