[Editor's note: The following information was supplied by the Center for Women and Families in a press release.]
Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara is looking for 1,000 men to join him as he walks down the Post Road in Fairfield on Saturday, April 27. But this is no ordinary walk. It’s a walk with a purpose: To focus attention on domestic violence and sexual assault.
“What better way to get the word out that violence against women must stop than to have a huge group of men show their support by walking down the center of town,” MacNamara said.
“Yes, we’ll stop traffic. But if we are able to stop just one act of violence against women, we are taking steps in the right direction. Women and children are encouraged to join in as well. Together, we can stamp out violence.”
Walk a Mile in her Shoes is the first event of the White Ribbon Campaign, an initiative of The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, the lifeline for victims of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault who live in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.
Registration for the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 in the parking lot of the Fairfield Train Station (westbound, into Grand Central). Register prior to the day of the event online.
Walkers will exit the train station on Mill Plain Road, turn left, and walk out to the Post Road. The walk will finish on the lawn in front of Town Hall, where there will be informational booths, music, food and speakers -- including the six police chiefs from the six towns The Center serves.
The event is free, but donations will gladly be accepted.
Before the walk, any man or boy can join the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) by simply logging onto www.cwfefc.org and pledge their support to end domestic violence. The pledge button is prominently displayed on the left side of The Center’s home page. There is also a pledge sheet to download, a perfect way to get friends and family to support your walk. All proceeds go directly to helping victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault become survivors.
“I am working on getting as many people as possible to take part in the walk,” MacNamara said. “Honestly, I don’t want to be walking down the Post Road by myself. Please mark the date on your calendar and join us.”
Already it looks like MacNamara has a few supporters -- a group of boys and girls from Fairfield Warde High School have signed up to walk, according to the Center's Valerie Foster.
Leadership Greater Bridgeport, a volunteer committee, is working with The Center and the Fairfield Police Department to make the walk a success.
WRC is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. In 1991 a handful of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out about violence against women after the Montreal massacre on Dec. 6, 1989 when 14 female students at the Ecole Polytechnique were killed by a lone gunman.
The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Inc. has been helping those in crisis for 116 years, providing free, confidential, bilingual services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault who live in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.
Additionally, each year, The Center teaches more than 7,000 children and teens about how to build healthy relationships, the dangers of bullying and how to prevent dating violence; answers more than 2,000 calls on its 24-hour crisis hotline; assists with the civil and criminal court processes for more than 3,000 survivors of domestic violence; responds to more than 300 survivors of sexual assault and their families; provides a safe home for more than 100 women and children fleeing domestic abuse; and coordinates the investigations of more than 100 cases of child sexual and severe physical abuse, developing service plans for the young survivors and their families.
For more information, visit www.cwfefc.org.