The month of April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and, in Buffalo, one organization will be hosting an annual fun but thought-provoking event to raise attention to the problem.
On Sunday, April 26 at noon, Crisis Services will host "Walk a Mile in her Shoes," during which men volunteer to put on women's heels and walk a mile along Hertel Avenue.
While the event shows support for women by the men who love them, Robyn Wiktorski-Reynolds, director of the Advocate Program at Crisis Services, says sexual abuse happens to both genders and exists among all races, creeds, sexual orientations and levels of income.
"We are all over this county with regards to these crimes. It's not just something that's happening in the city. It's happening in the suburbs, as well as in the rural areas, as evidenced by my staff driving all over the place at all of the emergency departments, helping folks out," said Wiktorski-Reynolds.
Wiktorski-Reynolds says there is a long way to toward changing the culture, but men are becoming more willing to step forward and take a stand.
"Many of the men who put on heels shared their stories as to why they came out and much of it was in support of women and men that they love and all people who maybe were victims of crimes themselves. So it is a way for people to come together and be part of the solution and stand for something," she added.
Crisis Service's 24-hour hotline is available to sexual abuse victims at 834-3131.