NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Hundreds of people laced up and walked Saturday morning to show their support for the survivors of sexual violence.
The Walk in Their Shoes event at Metro Center is put on by the Sexual Assault Center. The organization provides counseling and support to the victims of sexual violence and their families.
“It is such a fantastic day for survivors like myself to communicate, to come together and feel all the love and support,” survivor Sarahi Castillo said. “Knowing that they are there is amazing as a survivor.”
Castillo and other survivors were able to speak with participants. The event also featured a clothesline art display of T-shirts with messages written by survivors.
Some of the messages read, “End Sexual Violence Now” and “You Can’t Keep Me Down.”
“This is a celebration because we want to acknowledge the survivors and the tremendous work they have done to heal,” Sexual Assault Center President Tim Tohill said. “We also want to stop sexual abuse in this community and by pulling people together and speaking in one voice we are able to do that.”
The Sexual Assault Center opened in 1978. It runs a crisis line along with counseling.
“They were victimized but with some hard work they can thrive and become advocates speaking out against sexual abuse,” Tohill told News 2.
Castillo said by sharing her story she hopes others will not be afraid to come forward.
“I just want other survivors to come out and be healed like I was,” she said. “We all need to stand up against sexual assault and need say we are there for one another.”
The event also featured live music, food trucks and booths.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual violence you can reach the Sexual Assault Center’s crisis line at 1-800-879-1999.