Crowds of people in Western New York put on heels to stand a little taller against sexual violence Sunday. They gathered at University at Buffalo's South Campus for Walk a Mile in her Shoes 2019.
The event asks men to literally walk a mile in a women's shoes, as a call to prevent rape and gender violence.
"Really, by having this conversation and continuing it, not just through April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month but 365 or 366 days a year, we can, at the very least, let survivors know it's a safe place to come forward, to have these conversation, and there are services available," said UB Violence Prevention Specialist Aaron Maracle.
Organizers say those crimes have evolved into a national epidemic. Fundraisers such as the Walk a Mile help Crisis Services of Buffalo provide essential care.
"All of the funds stay local and support the advocate program at Crisis Services, which is our domestic and sexual violence unit. So, these funds really help us fill cirtical gaps and provide direct survivor services that we might not otherwise be able to do," said Advocate Program Director Caitlin Powalski.
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, you can call Crisis Services' 24-hour hotline at 716-834-3131.