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Over 100 get chance to 'walk in her shoes' at domestic violence awareness walk

Over 100 get chance to "walk in her shoes" at domestic violence awareness walk in Battle Creek Saturday.

Cars driving by got the message today, as the walking crowd of around 100 people at Kellogg Community College was hard to miss.

Especially Bill Lownsberry, who stands six-foot-four, in bright red heels that is.

Lownsberry, 71, has worn out a few pairs of heels over the years.

"53 walks since 2008," Lownsberry said, referring to the number of awareness walks he has been on. "I do it enough, so my legs don't get flabby,” he said, laughingly.

He knows the pain domestic violence can cause, after he lost two family members to a domestic incident in Niles in 2001.

"She was helping her sister get away from an abusive husband,” Lownsberry said. “He caught them at a hotel when they were trying to get away, and he shot both of them, he shot himself too, pretty senseless and no purpose behind it."

Lownsberry thinks there needs to be more access to services, which is exactly what the SAFE Place Shelter in Battle Creek is trying to provide.

Jessica Adel-Harrison said SAFE Place Shelter does it all.

"We do walks, we raise awareness, we do events and yet this is still such an invasive and prevalent part of our society," Adel-Harrison said.

Adel-Harrison said they only have capacity for about 50 families.

"The need is so great in this area, we basically have to screen for lethality, we have to take people who are at very high risk of being killed, and even at that we're still turning people away,” Adel-Harrison said. “That $20,000 can help us proved safety for victims and their children to stay."

Lownsberry will keep walking, as long as he can help it.

"There is hope out there, this isn't going to continue forever,” Lownsberry said.

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