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A Florence-Carlton High School student is hosting a walk called “One Step Forward” to raise awareness for domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment in the workplace at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 22, on the Highway 93 bike path.

Senior Grace Schwenk said she selected this as her senior project to bring the conversation to the community.

“I feel that domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment in the workplace are all taboo in our society to talk about,” she said. “Lately in the media there have been a lot of women coming forward for abuse and we are doing it to support the women who have come forward and to continue the movement.”

Schwenk said “One Step Forward” challenges participants to walk half of a mile in high heels in order to gain an understanding of the difficult steps those who have been subject to such violence are forced to take in regaining control of their lives.

The project is focused on the saying, “You can't really understand another person's experience until you walk in their shoes."

High heels are optional.

“People can walk in high heels or they can walk in any shoes they want because our main goal is to spread awareness,” Schwenk said.

By Wednesday, 65 community members of all ages had registered for the walk.

“It’s not just students,” Schwenk said.

There is a $5 fee to participate with all proceeds donated to the YWCA Missoula Domestic Violence Shelter.

“We will also be collecting any old cell phones that you have laying around,” Schwenk said. “Those will be donated to the shelter because they are distributed to victims of domestic violence to call 911 in case of an emergency.”

Participants are asked to park their vehicles in the Florence Carlton High School parking lot and walk down to the bike path next to Highway 93 near the school.

The walk will start on the corner near Glen's Café. The first participant across the finish line will receive a prize and everyone who completes the walk will receive a special treat.

To join the walk email graceschwenk@gmail.com for the registration form.

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