MEN and women across Ipswich have been urged to strap on their favourite heels and hit the streets to help raise awareness about domestic violence.
The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign invites local folk to show their solidarity towards the removal of violence from the community.
The walk kicks off at D'Arcy Doyle Place on Wednesday at 5pm and will be followed by a candle-lighting vigil and barbecue.
Ipswich Women's Centre Against Domestic Violence manager Gabrielle Borggaard said violence in Ipswich was on the rise, with 510 new women at risk of being hurt by a partner or ex-partner needing crisis support registering for help in 2011.
"The number is growing - this year we have already registered 244 women who have never been in contact with our service before," Ms Borggaard said. "The centre sees many more women at our regional courts and women at the service who have contacted us before but still not safe. In the first quarter alone we had 620 crisis calls and 60 crisis appointments with women and unfortunately had to refer on 25 women and 15 children who needed counselling due to capacity."
Ms Borggaard said the walk would echo the message that domestic and family violence was not acceptable.
"We would love to see all of Ipswich come and support this message," she said. "It is the official launch of the Ipswich Says No to Violence Committee and our main aim is to work with the Ipswich community to create safer families, children and streets.
"We need your help to build a safe community, a safe Ipswich, whether in our homes, at schools or on the streets.
"After the march there will be a candle-lighting vigil to remember the people who have died due to domestic and family violence and to show our support to their families and friends."
Participants are asked to donate $5 which goes towards a T-shirt and the barbecue.
Register your interest on 3816 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.