RED DEER -- The Walk A Mile in HER Shoes virtual walk has begun in Red Deer.

In past years, participants would gather outside the Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society and walk one mile in high-heeled shoes together to raise awareness for gender-based violence. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions the event is being held virtually.

“Domestic violence is real issue in our community and so much of it happens in silence,” said Barb Barber, executive director of the Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society.

“This is really just to let people know that the community supports them.”

The virtual walk which began on Friday will continue until May 21. People who are interested can register online.

Registered participants are encouraged to post videos of themselves walking in high heels to social media and challenge their friends and family to do the same. The event challenges participants to set a goal of fundraising a minimum of $500. However, Barber said a donation of any amount is valuable.

“I know that in this time some people who were able to support us last year aren’t able to support us this year,” she told CTV News.

“Even $10 can really make a difference.”

The money raised will go towards the Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society, which must fundraise 12 per cent of its operational budget each year. The organization provides assistance to victims of family violence.

“This money does go towards being able to continue to provide those programs and services for victims of gender-based violence or domestic violence.”