Sunday, September 27th, 2015 10:00 AM
OAKVILLE - With warmth and enthusiasm, the Oakville community came together Sunday morning to raise awareness and funds for the Halton Women's Place at their annual Hope in High Heels event. Participating in teams, with family members, or on their own, men and boys donned pink pumps to walk up and down Lakeshore Road and literally “walk a mile in her shoes.”
The energy of the event remained light and fun despite a sobering speech by Diane Beaulieu, the executive director of Halton Women's Place. Beaulieu thanked the male participants for their ongoing support in ending violence against women, expressing that, “we can't do this without you. We used to think we could but we can't.” Adding more immediacy to the day's cause was Beaulieu's mention of the recent murders of three women in Wilno, Ontario, just outside of Ottawa. All three women were reported to have previously been in relationships with their murderer.
During the walk, passers-by honked, clapped and cheered in supportive response. It was an inspiring display of collectivity from which men are sometimes excluded due to concerns about safe spaces for women during their activism. The scene embodied the plea made by Councillor Tom Adams in his speech for men and women to work together on the issue, for themselves as well as children, too. Together with Burlington's walk the previous day, an estimated $110 000 was raised for the Halton Women's Place. These funds will go towards shelter provisions of food, clothing, transportation, counselling services, and more.