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Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Ruth's Cottage and the PattyCake House in Tifton, Georgia are sponsoring a fundraiser called "Walk A Mile in Her Shoes."

Men will actually walk a mile in women's shoes. This event is part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In America, four women a day are killed by their husband or boyfriend. By having men participate in this fundraiser, they believe will make more men aware of how serious domestic violence is.

Surviving domestic violence takes one step at a time. "If you have not walked in those shoes; you don't know what it feels like. I've walked in shoes of abuse and addiction," said Shelter Manager Kim Royal. 

She was married to a Pastor for 20 years. Five years later, she still remembers the first time he attacked. "It began with him beating my daughter and putting belt marks on her body. I didn't think it would ever happen again," said Royal. 

It happened over and over again. The abuse was almost like clock work.

"I looked at the clock when it started, and then when it was over.I would lay in the bed for three hours, just stiff as a board out of fear," said Royal.

From sleepless nights to broken limbs, she stayed with him through it all. "There was a time when he actually broke my finger. He threw me into a bed post, and that broke my finger," said Royal. 

The turning point came after a conversation with her son. "My son told me, if his dad hit me or his sister. He was going to kill him and I believed him," said Royal. 

The process of becoming whole for Kim was rehab, finishing college, and becoming a shelter manager. "So now what I do, is go to the shelter everyday. I love those women and god has given me a passion for hurting women," said Royal.  

Not hurting women is what "Walking A Mile in Her Shoes"is all about. "It's a walk-a-thon and not a long one, because I don't know if men could handle walking in my shoes," said Executive Director of Ruth's Cottage Vicki Parsons. 

"I considered myself a very weak person, but I have learned in the last five years, I'm a very strong woman. I have come through some very horrible things," said Royal. 

She overcame it all, by making one step. Walk A Mile in Her Shoes is a free event. Men who participate are asked to bring high heels two sizes bigger than their normal shoe size.

The walk will take place October 19th at 5:30 in Tifton, Georgia. For more information call Ruth's Cottage at (229) 387-9697.

A candle light vigil is being held at The Leroy Rogers Center Thursday at 6pm to honor past and present victims of domestic violence. The speakers are Judge Larry Mims and a survivor who's successfully completed the program.

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