Saturday morning 70 plus men took to the streets of Athens in their red high-heeled shoes. The annual Walk a Mile in her shoes event is held in support of the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Participants walk four times around the courthouse and follow it up with a 50-yard-dash on Prairieville Street.

This year the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, Athens Fire, and many others walked the mile in support. Doug Weaver, the father of Alicia Weaver Scott, walked a mile in tribute to his daughter who was tragically murdered by her husband 2016.

Della Cooper, the victim advocate at East Texas Crisis Center, spoke Saturday morning stating these stats:

“Every 107 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in Texas. It takes approximately 15 minutes to walk a mile that is 900 seconds. During that time there will be nine acts of sexual assault towards a woman, man or child committed. Participating in this event is to help bring awareness to this matter. Each one of us has the capability to stand, spread the word and to help. Thank you for walking for this cause.”

Walk a mile is scheduled the same weekend as Old Fiddlers Reunion each year.

According to Social Solutions and 2018 Domestic Violence Statistics. More than one in three women (35.6 percent) and more than one in four men (28.5 percent) in the United States report having experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

1. Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this adds up to more than 10 million women and men.

2. Nearly one in four women and one in seven men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime. 28 percent of families were homeless because of domestic violence.

3. In 15 states, more than 40 percent of all homicides of women in each state involved intimate partner violence.

4. Women with disabilities have a 40 percent greater risk of intimate partner violence, especially severe violence, than women without disabilities.

5. Approximately five million children are exposed to domestic violence every year, Children exposed are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes.

6. Nationally, 50 percent of batterers who abuse their intimate partners also abuse their children.

7. Worldwide, men who were exposed to domestic violence as children are three to four times more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence as adults.

8. 4 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year.

Here are some signs to watch for according to helpguide.org:

People who are being abused may:

Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner

Go along with anything their partner says and does

Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing

Receive frequent phone calls from their partner

Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness

Warning signs of physical violence. People who are being physically abused may:

Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”

Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation

Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)

People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

Be restricted from seeing family and friends

Rarely go out in public without their partner

Have limited access to money, credit cards, or transportation.

The psychological warning signs of abuse. People who are being abused may:

Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident

Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)

Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal

If you are being abused please reach out for help. In the U.S.: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

East Texas Crisis Center- 903-675-2137 No appointment necessary.

Immediate Crisis Intervention and Advocacy are available on a walk-in basis during regular office hours.

Contact us for main telephone number and office hours for each county of service.

After office hours call Hotline at 903-595-5591 or 800-333-0358

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