SCHWEINFURT, Germany (Oct. 31, 2013) -- "I definitely felt the pain," said Sgt. 1st Class Kaweka Stoney. Stoney, a large man, was wearing fire-engine red stiletto heels against his camouflaged ACUs. But he wasn't the only one who swapped combat boots for heels.
Men slipped into heels and women strapped into boots and walked the streets of Askren Manor Oct. 22 in a community event aimed at bringing to light the causes of family violence. Dubbed "Walk This Way," the event drew both Soldiers and civilians alike.
"There were some big, strong tough men out there in red high heels, and it was not easy for them," said Sara McCauley, event organizer and Schweinfurt's Family Advocacy Program manager. "But it does represent the difficulty that victims of domestic violence face."
"Walk this Way" was inspired by the non-profit organization Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®.
If you are a victim of abuse or if you suspect someone is, recognize, report it, and prevent it. You have reporting options in Schweinfurt, despite the garrison's closure scheduled by the end of September 2014.
As more and more Soldiers and families prepare for their permanent changes of duty station as a result of the eventual closure of the garrison here, they may experience escalated stressors, making them more vulnerable to domestic violence, said McCauley in an interview earlier this month.
"Though our population has decreased over the past year, we do continue to average two new domestic violence cases a month. 'Walk This Way' is an opportunity to increase awareness and encourage our community to get involved in the fight against domestic violence," said McCauley.
Prevention is key, she said, and she encourages people to know the signs and seek help. The garrison has people, programs and resources in place geared toward prevention. Know your resources by visiting "Reporting domestic violence in Schweinfurt" in the Links section.