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Men’s march raises awareness to stop domestic violence

By Staff | Sep 29, 2016

Participants take a ceremonial pledge on domestic violence at the end of the march.

LAHAINA – The fifth annual, popular Walk A Mile In Her Shoes family-friendly event is slated this Saturday, Oct 1, at the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Hosted by the Women Helping Women (WHW) West Maui Task Force, it’s a men’s march to raise awareness and stop rape, sexual assault and domestic violence.

Stacey Moniz, WHW executive director, explained the importance of including men in the mission of Women Helping Women: “If we truly want to end domestic violence and other forms of violence against women, men need to be a part of the solution.

“Most men do not support violence against women and want to help but are not sure how. I think we haven’t really afforded men the means to speak out against violence against women, so we needed to get creative. This is a fun, yet educational way to take a stand against domestic violence and raise awareness.”

Sgt. Mary-Lee T. Sagawinit, with the Maui Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division, Domestic Violence Unit, provided the stats for 2015.

There were 4,376 abuse-related cases on Maui, with 667 arrests: 54 in Hana, 741 in Kahului, 780 in Kihei, 723 in West Maui, 100 in Lanai, 399 in Molokai, 928 Upcountry and 983 in Wailuku.

Domestic violence-related cases were reported by the numbers: Felony Abuse of Family/Household Member (strangulation), 72; Felony Abuse of Family/Household Member with Injury (minor under 14 years old present), 103; Abuse of Family/Household Member (physical with injury), 327; Abuse of Family/Household Member (physical with no injury), 809; Warning Citation Issued following an Intervention, 472; Abuse of Family/Household Member Intervention (verbal), 2,486; and Warning Citation Violation, 107.

To raise awareness, men are invited to walk a lap in her shoes – provided by the task force – and take a vow that it is not okay for men to abuse, either verbally or physically, women and children.

Last year, there were 219 walkers registered.

In 2016, coordinators are prepared to accept more, event organizer Maria Terra told the Lahaina News.

A star-studded affair is planned. KONI’s Joe Hawkins is the master of ceremonies.

Vocalist/bassist Jason Jerome, guitarist Mark Jackson and drummer Ray Chin have come out of a “self-imposed exile,” and Fred’s Garage will perform for the third year in a row as the “house band.”

“Unfortunately, Women Helping Women serves a real need in our community. The members of Fred’s Garage are fathers, husbands, West Maui community members and passionate musicians. We appreciate and support the efforts of WHW, and this annual event is a great reminder of the ongoing commitment toward this need,” Jackson said.

Special guest is Darren Lee – “Elvis” of the Lahaina show “Burn’n Love” – leading the ceremonial pledge at the end of the march and entertaining with his rocking talent during the procession.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. Cost is $20. Participants receive an event T-shirt, free parking validation and a ticket for the lucky number prize drawing.

The public is invited to attend free of charge to enjoy the fun, family activities, entertainment and learn all at the same time; however, to enter the lucky number drawing, tickets must be purchased at $20 each.

Among the participants, there are three grand prizes, one for best costume, and the list of Lucky Number contributions is impressive.

“There are fabulous prizes to be won,” Terra commented.

“The West Side community has been extremely generous with donations this year. We have donations from The Westin KOR, The Mauian, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Pacific Whale Foundation-Sunset Dinner Cruise, Trilogy Excursions, Sunshine Helicopters, Warren and Annabelle’s Magic, Roy’s, Duke’s, and the list goes on, ” Terra added.

Moniz explained how the monies raised would be spent locally: “This year, the funds will be used in our direct client assistance fund. These monies are used to help with specific needs like gas cards, car repairs, food gift cards, bus passes, to replace broken glasses, dentures, cell phones, pay for things like car registration, insurance, education, tuition, child care, medical and/or legal expenses and any number of other random needs that arise.

“It’s a critical funding pool for the families in our program and can make a huge impact for them.”

The goal is to raise $10,000.

To register, sponsor a team or donate, go to www.universe.com/5thannualwalkamile or call 669-5200 with questions.

Terra is adamant about recognizing the group of volunteers that gather together to support the event, including fellow “Walk” committee members Jackie Favors, Liz May, P. Denise La Costa, Carl Powell and Danielle Marie Bergan.

“We couldn’t do this without the volunteers,” she said.