The Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center, Inc. (SARC)’s 10th annual Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes: International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence drew a crowd of 160 walkers and spectators on Saturday, April 28 in downtown Bel Air. Together, walkers and fundraisers helped raise $64,000 to support SARC’s free services for victims.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman was proud to again serve as Honorary Chair for Walk-A-Mile to take a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault and encouraged the community to support victims who need help. Harford County Government also showed their support and commitment to SARC through an event sponsorship.
The Harford County community went above and beyond to band together to support SARC’s mission at the event: to raise awareness around the issue of sexual assault, provide action steps to combat the problem and to raise funds to provide resources to victims in Harford County. Top fundraising teams included Pumped Up!, a group of Harford Mutual Insurance’s employees and supporting family members, the Society of Italian American Businessmen and APG Federal Credit Union. Top fundraising individuals were Steve Linkous (team Pumped Up!), who raised $17,143; Michael DeLuca, Jr., who raised $3,709; Tony Palumbo, who raised $2,688, Jim Rush, who raised $2,324 and James Hall, who raised $2,206.
The walk stepped off at 11 a.m. at Black Eyed Suzie’s, with participants showing off their high heels on the red carpet. Luisa Caiazzo, SARC’s CEO, kicked off the event with a warm welcome and information to share with the community about the important services SARC provides.
“Walk a Mile in her Shoes’ goal is very much the same today as it was when we held it our first time 10 years ago,” says Caiazzo. “The need for education and awareness surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence has proven its importance within our community, as we’ve served more than 2,000 women and children and answered nearly 2,200 helpline calls just in the past year alone!”
The statistics in Maryland are staggering. According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), nearly one in five women (18.3 percent) and one in 71 men (1.4 percent) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives. This same survey found that Maryland women have the third highest lifetime prevalence of sexual violence other than rape, totaling an estimated number of 1,248,000 women, about 54.9 percent of the female population in the state.
SARC is the only full-service domestic violence agency and the primary Rape Crisis center in Harford County. The center is a comprehensive victim services program that provides resources to primary and secondary victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, child abuse and stalking in Harford County, Maryland. Fundraisers such as Walk-A-Mile provide critical funding to continue providing their essential services. Donations are still being accepted and can be made by visiting www.sarc-maryland.org or calling 410-836-8430.
SARC would like to thank Walk a Mile’s generous sponsors: Harford Mutual Insurance; Decisive Data Systems; Ports America Chesapeake; Lynch Construction; Fallston Group; Harford’s Heart; Aaron’s Furniture; Jones Junction; Saiontz & Kirk, P.A.; Saxon’s Diamond Centers; APGFCU; Innovative Insurance Solutions; WSMT Insurance; Chesapeake Employer’s Insurance; Elegant Restoration; Harford Bank; Gemcraft; Thompson Toyota; Harford County Government; Shop Rite; Jen Snyder Photography; Bill Fritz & Sons DJ; Amrein Foods, and Al Williamson.
Since 1978, SARC has provided hope and resources to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, and stalking. Services include a 24 Hour-Helpline, counseling, legal representation, a confidential safe house, and community outreach and education.