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Deputy prosecutors "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' to raise domestic violence, sexual assault awareness
fashion showThere’s an old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you walk a mile in their shoes.” Well that’s exactly what deputy prosecutors did in downtown Tacoma to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,’ a fundraiser which benefits victims of sexual assault.

On April 24, the fun and laughter began as soon as the participants walked through the doors of the Washington State History Museum. They were greeted by joyful volunteers from the Rebuilding Hope Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County, who offered a wide selection of tutus, dresses and accessories for those who sought to add to their ensemble.

The crowd moved to the auditorium, where Anikka Abbott, Miss Pierce County 2015, offered a warm welcome. She introduced her father, who stood up and waved to the audience in a royal purple faux-fur coat, pink tutu and hat. Abbott, a senior at Pacific Lutheran University and 2011 graduate from Gig Harbor High School, commended Rebuilding Hope staff members for their important contributions to the community.

After a round of applause, Abbott introduced Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist and he kicked off the annual Prosecutor’s Office on-stage fashion show. Lindquist introduced eight of his deputy prosecutors and asked them to describe their fashionable footwear for the audience. First up was Scott Peters. To complement his hot-pink knee-high boots, Peters also donned a spring dress – the result of a friendly competition with Sumner Police Chief Brad Moericke. The two challenged each other to be the top fundraiser, with a walk in a dress on the line. With visions of Peters in a dress dancing in their heads, his supporters donated $1,645 on his behalf.

“The Sexual Assault Center does such great work for the community,” said Lindquist. “We are willing to commit fashion crimes for the cause.”

When Lindquist handed the microphone to Sean Waite, the deputy prosecutor did his best Marshawn Lynch impression and responded, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” The crowd erupted in laughter and applauded.

After the fashion show, the men took to the streets, led by the cheerful tunes of the Lakes High School band and the school’s Army Junior ROTC cadets. Some walked with grace and elegance as if they had done this many times, while others struggled to put one foot in front of the other as they listed from side to side.

The goal of the walk is to raise awareness and prevent rape, sexual assault and gender violence in the greater Tacoma area. According to the United States Department of Justice, somewhere in America, a woman is raped every two minutes. Rebuilding Hope offers services for those victims and their families through advocacy, therapy and education, at no charge.

Bringing in more than $20,000, ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ is Rebuilding Hope’s largest fundraising activity.

“We were very impressed with the turnout and support from all of Pierce County for this year’s walk,” said Tasha Smith, executive director of Rebuilding Hope.