Pictured: Employees of the City of Walla Walla showed their support in sparkly purple shoes.
In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, YWCA of Walla Walla asked the community to Speak Up, Step Out against a crime that affects one in four U.S. women.
City of Walla Walla employees helped inspire a great turnout for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march. City Council member Dick Morgan, one of the participants, told KVEW-TV that not only was he happy to speak against domestic violence, he also “got a cute pair of shoes out of the deal!”
Whitman College and Walla Walla University students, Zonta Club members, and the Blue Mountain Community Church youth group helped with awareness events and distributing materials throughout the month.
“I volunteer because my mother is a survivor of domestic violence,” said Sayda Morales, Whitman College student. “I want to support her and all the other women in the world who have experienced domestic violence firsthand. I believe in the good work of the YWCA, providing services to women in need in the Walla Walla area.”
The volunteers’ efforts helped bring attention to the YWCA Crisis Line and provided information to churches and salons throughout the valley.
“When the community is secretive about domestic violence, it’s harder for women to ask questions and access services,” said Celia Guardado, Director of Client Services for the YWCA of Walla Walla’s Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Resource Center.
Whitman College’s Gender Studies program hosted The Clothesline Project with a display at Reid Campus Center on the Whitman College campus. Residents and staff from the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter participated in making shirts for a clothesline created to remember those who have experienced gender-based violence. Learn more at www.clotheslineproject.org. Many of these shirts were also on display at the YWCA’s Candlelight Vigil event.
In addition, the Walla Walla Public Library worked with the AAUW, YWCA and City of Walla Walla Domestic Violence services to make more books about healing from domestic violence available in our community. View the list online.