PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of men stepped into their high heels to participate in the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes march on Thursday night. Although it was not the most graceful of miles, it raised some big money to support the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
"It takes a community to make change and we are that community and for the past nine years, we have been gathering here," Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said before the march on North Street during Third Thursday. "We are increasing awareness, developing new partnerships, and we are creating new partnerships to reach people better and sooner."
The nonprofit center provides counseling, shelter, and legal advocacy for victims of domestic and sexual violence. It has offices in Pittsfield, North Adams, and Great Barrington.
Broderick said this year so far they have raised at least $75,000. She said there is still money to be counted.
The march has featured men wearing "her shoes" although women also participate. People marched individually and in teams and the group included community leaders, elected officials, business leaders, and folks who just wanted to help spread awareness of gender violence and make a difference.
Broderick said there are increasing levels of violence in the country and in Berkshire County. Those lost to domestic and sexual violence will not be forgotten, she said, as she reached out to those who are suffering by reiterating that they are not alone.
"Violence must stop tonight. We are people from throughout Berkshire County and we stand together, stepping out united," she said. "Together we are powerful and violence is preventable. No more rape, no more death, nor more violence."
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