CALDWELL — In what one domestic violence survivor compared to “moving out of the darkness and into the light,” about 250 people marched through Caldwell Saturday morning in solidarity against rape, sexual assault and relationship violence.
The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” march, part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, brought together people of all ages — men and women — who recognize the on-going problem of domestic violence, which has killed a record 18 Idahoans this year, organizer Yolanda Matos said.
“Obviously the year isn’t over yet, and that’s the highest it’s ever been in Idaho. Violence continues to plague our families.” Matos said. “Although we’re doing good work, there’s a lot more we need to do.”
Matos said she was encouraged by the turnout for the march, which began and ended on The College of Idaho campus, and she would like to hold a similar event next year.
Tammy Langley, a survivor of domestic violence, said the event drew attention to a problem that affects all segments of society every day, regardless of age, gender, economic level or education. Langley said she hoped the march would show the victims of violence they have support in the community.
“I would suggest that the first thing a victim can do is tell someone safe,” she said. “When you’re in that situation, you feel crazy and confused. It’s like being in the depths of the ocean and you can’t see anything. You must tell someone before you can rise to the surface.”
In addition to the march, Saturday’s activities included a workshop meant to simulate the obstacles victims encounter when trying to break the cycle of domestic violence, and a theater performance based on the stories of nine men and women who emerged from domestic violence.