Dozens of students, activists and officials from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office gathered at UC Riverside Tuesday afternoon to take part in a 10-minute, one-mile symbolic walk, to bring awareness to the increasing reality of domestic violence.
The eighth annual ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ event took place on campus and a student leader guided the group through UCR’s Olmsted Plaza, near the Rivera Library.
It was part of October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness month and a public awareness effort planned through the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. A second event is planned Wednesday at 6 p.m. at The River in Rancho Mirage, 71-800 Highway 11.
Among the many walkers Tuesday was Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach.
“What we just did was symbolic,” Zellerbach said. “Even though we walked a short distance, we made a big statement.”
The purpose was to raise awareness and help educate the community of the impact that domestic violence has on society, he said. In 2010, the Riverside County Family Justice Center, led by the district attorney’s office, assisted more than 2,200 women and children affected by domestic violence, Zellerbach said.
“One in every four women will experience domestic violence and every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten,” Zellerbach said to a crowd of about 50. “These aren’t just statistics. They are reality in our ‘civilized society.’”
Dallas Rabenstein, UCR executive vice chancellor and provost, said Tuesday’s event was timely with the start of the school semester and helped raise awareness in new incoming freshman and transfer students.
‘It’s crucial that we as a campus come together and provide the necessary support through the available organizations on campus to create a better culture.”
‘Domestic violence is real and we need to fight it through education.” Zellerbach said to the crowd. “So if nothing else, take what you have learned here and share it.”