November 18, 2022 at 6:05 am
Stories from local survivors of domestic violence will soon be seen at Lambton Mall as people take part in the annual Walk the Mile event.
The fundraiser is organized by Sarnia Lambton Women’s Spaced Home and will take place on Saturday 19th November.
“This year, we put up nine different posters throughout Lambton Mall, each featuring a different survivor and their story,” said Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator Josephine Ethier. “It’s a beautiful thing that these survivors have come forward to share their stories and let Sarnia-Lambton know it’s theirs. They’re living in town, they’re at home, trying to escape domestic violence.”
Registrations for the walk have decreased compared to last year, but residents are still invited to show their support on the day, Ethier said.
Walk a Mile raises awareness about domestic and gender-based violence, while also raising funds to support programs offered by the organization.
“The government is really only supporting 74 percent of anything indoors, so it’s just the shelter itself in general,” Ethier said. “Anything we do beyond that, including all the programs that we offer – we highly encourage prevention programs – all our women’s groups, youth groups, children’s crafts, those types of groups are not funded at all; It all comes from the community support we’ve received.”
They are also providing healthy meals and other general necessities at home, Etil said.
Earlier this month, Sarnia-Lambton, a center for sexual assault survivors, said they saw a 67 per cent increase in services received in the past year. Ethier said they have also noticed an increase in demand.
“We’re always at full capacity, and we have waiting lists. The biggest problem is Sarnia’s housing crisis, especially affordable housing,” Ethier said. “Keeping people at home and then finding them going somewhere else rather than going back to their abuser is a problem, so the turnover rate is not what we want.”
The goal of this year’s initiative is to raise nearly $10,000.
Walk a Mile event at the mall from 11am to 2pm