More and more local residents gather at Dalton State College each year in October for an annual event that has come to symbolize the community's unity and its willingness to support an important cause.

The Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event is today. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and the walk begins at noon at the Burran Bell Tower at Dalton State College. There is a $10 registration fee for the walk. Participants may pre-register by contacting the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center at (706) 278-6595. A prize will be awarded to the man with the best shoes. All proceeds provide services to help victims and survivors of domestic violence in the community. Donations to the crisis center are tax deductible.

Everyone is invited to participate. Many men, women and children participate in the walk each year. The event actually has a serious objective: to raise awareness to the issue of domestic violence in the community and to get more people talking about the real issue. Domestic violence does not discriminate and it is not confined to any one group or groups of people, it crosses all economic, social, racial and societal barriers, according to the crisis center.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is commemorated each October, is so important because it is a time to bring the community together and educate people on the mission of the crisis center, which is to end violence in the home by providing shelter, advocacy and support to victims while working in the community to change attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.

The crisis center has served the northwest Georgia community for 40 years. It provides emergency shelter for domestic violence victims and their children. In addition to shelter services, the crisis center provides outreach services for those victims that may not need shelter through offices in Gordon, Murray and Whitfield counties. It is a free, safe and confidential resource for victims that need help fleeing a domestic violence situation. The crisis center served 1,613 new clients in 2018, but many domestic violence incidences go unreported because victims fear for their safety, while others do not realize that help is available.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour crisis line at (706) 278-5586 or visit www.nwgafcc.com to learn more.

Katora Printup, crisis center executive director, said, "Take a stand with us this October, and help us break the silence. Help us spread the message that abuse will not be tolerated in our communities."

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