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On Saturday April 6th the sidewalks of Hollister were filled with over 100 brave men and women walking to support the end of abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and teen dating violence. The Walk Hosted by Emmaus House and assisted with support from Community Solutions of San Benito County was Hollister’s first participation in the International March – Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was started 2001. Initially started out as a small group of men daring to totter around a park, has grown to become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs.
78 Local men braved high heels shoes and 34 women know as ‘sister’ walkers participated by walking from the start point on the corner of 4th and San Benito Street traveling on the east side of San Benito street down to South street then crossing westward and back north to the finish line. Walkers were assisted in their route with the support of the Fault-line Derby Girls providing traffic control when necessary. Prior to the Walk commencement, JJ’s Dance Studio provided a very touching interpretation of “Break the Chain” dance and some individual dancers to motivate our walkers.
Hollister Firefighters, city officials, doctors, business owners, young men and women turned out for the event. Sheriff’s deputy Tony Lemonica reminded the crowd of the community wide effects of abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence. Brave survivors’ shared their stories and prizes were awarded in several categories including first to cross the finish line in heels, Macale Ceballos, and first full team to cross the finish line in heels – our local Hollister Firefighters!
Emmaus House would like to thank Community solutions and the over 35 generous community volunteers that turned out to support this event. “Our goal had been to raise community awareness of the travesties of abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. We far exceeded our expectations for the first year hosting this event. We look forward to making this an annual event.” said Patrice Kuerschner, executive director for Emmaus House
In 2012 Emmaus House provided shelter to 161 clients. Emmaus House opened it’s doors in late 2006 and has served over 915 in need.