Walk A Mile goal set at $120,000 to support critical Gillian's Place services

CKTB - NEWS - Tom McConnell Walk A Mile

As the annual Walk A Mile event in support of Gillian's Place is fast approaching, advocates are stressing how important this year's event will be.

Throughout the pandemic, multiple studies have shown the rate of domestic violence has increased across the country.

Although funding is sorely needed to ensure support services can meet the increased demand, Walk A Mile ambassador Becky Goulet notes it is also important to show support to people who are suffering. "It's not just people that are at the hands of physical abuse, but mental abuse. If you want to get out of an unhealthy marriage, they can help you with that. Again, there's no shame in it - lots of women find themselves in these situations and it could happen to anyone. We've got to release people from the shame and get them the help they need."

The traditional Walk A Mile event will be slightly altered this year to adhere to COVID-19 protocols - participants are being asked to walk routes in their own neighbourhoods instead of gathering at the Pen Centre. Funds raised go to support the work of Gillian's Place including emergency shelter programs, counselling, and ongoing support services.

"There is a lofty goal," Goulet explains. "I think it's $120,000. And 30 percent of the money they require to run these services comes from donations. So 70 percent is through the government, but 30 percent just comes from the community. So that's our responsibility to make sure women, women and children, or anyone at the hands of gender-based violence has the services they need. This is a whole community's problem and we need to step up and help."

The walk is scheduled for October 16th. As of early Monday morning, only $13,000 of the $120,000 goal has been pledged.

Donations can be made through the Walk A Mile website.

Click here to listen to Goulet's full interview with Matt Holmes.