Pathways to Healing hosts a “Walk a Mile in Our Shoes” event every April. (Photos by EMILY Revolutionary Marketing Group/Carolina News and Reporter)

Pathway to Healing’s upcoming “Walk a Mile in Our Shoes” event will honor sexual assault and domestic violence survivors at the South Carolina Statehouse.

The walk was created to bring awareness to gender-based violence being an issue and to raise money for the nonprofit.

Attendees will walk a mile to demonstrate that gender-based violence is an issue and that women are more likely than men to experience sexual violence. Some men will walk the mile in women’s shoes to show support for female survivors.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is an avid attendee of the walk. He said he sees all survivors of sexual assault as his children, and his job as the sheriff is to protect them.

“So, me getting out and walking in a pair of red high heels – and hurt my feet – I think, only is just a small thing that I can do to show my support for sexual assault victims,” Lott said.

Lorick said the event is the organization’s largest fundraiser because of sponsorships and ticket sales. The nonprofit offers free services to survivors and their families using grant funding and proceeds from the fundraiser.

“We care about survivors, and we want them to feel heard and feel supported,” Lorick said. “And so really, it is a community show of support or survivors – just to show them that we hear them and that we’re here for them and that we support them in sometimes a very difficult walk towards healing.”

The awareness walk was formerly known as “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” Lorick said she felt as if that was almost excluding people.

“It’s important for everybody to realize that it impacts everybody, even if you’re not directly a survivor,” she said. “It is an issue that can bring us together and that we can have those difficult conversations and support each other.”

The keynote speaker this year is Kara Robinson Chamberlain. In 2002, Chamberlain survived and escaped a serial killer in West Columbia when she was 15.

Creighton Waters, chief attorney of the South Carolina State Grand Jury, will be the emcee of this year’s event. He said domestic violence and sexual violence against primarily women and children has a devastating impact in communities.

“It’s important, I think, every year to have an event that reminds us of the significance of this problem, but also reminds us of the solutions and people who are working for solutions to some of these problems,” Waters said.

It’s crucial to not sweep issues such as domestic violence and sexual assault under the rug and to help survivors get justice and make a change, Waters said.

The University of South Carolina’s school of Hospitality and Tourism Management has a nonprofit event planning class through the Honors College and is partnering with Pathways to Healing for the event.

Dr. Miyoung Jeong, a hospitality and tourism management professor at USC, said Pathways to Healing is a great match for the class to gain service-learning project experience and learn more about event planning.

“The goal of this event from our perspective is, at least we want to raise awareness on sexual assault as support to people who have been sexually assaulted,” she said.

The walk will take place April 20 at 8:30 a.m.

You can register for “Walk a Mile in Our Shoes”here Walk A Mile In Our Shoes 2024 – Campaign (


Attendees took a photo on the steps of the Statehouse. 

Past participants walk down Main Street.

Cocky posing with an attendee. 

Each year women, men, and children attend the event.