SAN DIEGO —
On Saturday, Oct. 5, hundreds of San Diegans will 'Walk a Mile in Their Shoes" in hopes of putting an end to domestic violence. In this Zevely Zone, I went to MLK Promenade Park to preview the YWCA San Diego County event.
"I found out a long time ago, the key to all of this is big heels, ha, ha," said Sheriff Bill Gore, who is once again strapping on his ruby red, high heel shoes.
"I could not help but notice the shoe matches the tie," I said.
"Yes, I spent hours this morning trying to accessorize properly," said Sheriff Gore.
This will be the 12th year participants stand up for victims who are tired of being walked all over. According to local law enforcement, one in four women and one in seven men experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.
One in seven children are affected by domestic violence each year as well.
Helping to promote Saturday's walk are volunteers from Kaiser Permanente and Lennar Multifamily Communities.
"Right now, I feel a little shaky [and] I feel my calves buckling out," said Giang Le from Kaiser Permanente.
"I don't know that I can do this mile, but I am going to give it my best," said Bryan Feltman from Lennar Multifamily Communities.
Both men are wearing high heel shoes and training for Saturday's mile-long walk through downtown San Diego. Men and women will walk together in hope of putting an end to domestic violence.
"This is a wonderful event," said Heather Finlay, the CEO of YWCA San Diego County.
Finlay is raising awareness by lifting people three inches off the ground.
"We have the special shoes for you," said Finlay.
I responded, "They are a size 12?"
RELATED: Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
Finlay watched me struggle a few years ago in red pumps and figured I was ready to up my game with the a pair of blue beauties.
"Sherrif Gore is helping me strap on stilettos," I laughed.
He then said, "Jeff, that's because misery likes company."
The event may be lighthearted, but domestic violence is no laughing matter. Law enforcement responds to hundreds of calls every day of the year.
"We have 17,000 cases just in San Diego County reported every year, and we know it is dramatically under-reported, [so] that works out to [be] about 245 calls of domestic violence every day, 365 days a year," said Sheriff Gore.
That’s why money is needed to fund Becky's House Domestic Violence Programs for happy endings.
"90% of the people who come through our program are able to move on to homes of their own and 98% do not return to their abusers, and that is the key,” said Finlay.
Sheriff Gore then clicked his Ruby Reds together,
"Three clicks right?" he laughed.
As much as we'd love to wish the problem away, by walking together, we help victims stand on their own two feet.
I will emcee Saturday's event with Meryl Klemow from 100.7 San Diego. This year's festivities will feature a beer garden with live music and food. The event takes place Saturday, October 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Event proceeds benefit survivors overcoming trauma and abuse in our Becky's House® Domestic Violence Programs. For information, click here.
Here are highlights from last year: