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      Midlands men help heal in heels

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Men across the Midlands participated in a mile long walk wearing a pair of womenâ??s shoes Thursday.

      The walk brought the community together to rally against sexual abuse and violence.

      Sponsored by Palmetto Health and hosted by Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, the goal of the event is to help men understand that sexual abuse and violence is not only a womenâ??s issue.

      Ginny Waller, Executive Director of Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, says the event is a fun way to support a good cause.

      â??Victims themselves have family members, friends, a community, their jobs that are also impacted," said Waller.

      Michael VanDiver's studded stilettos have a purpose. "The spiked toes in the shoes, that's for protection. I'm not going to take it anymore," said VanDiver. "We're just not going to take the abuse and the violence against women anymore, and men as well."

      Men, women and children of all ages where there to raise awareness.

      While the guys admit the shoes aren't the most comfortable to walk in, it is a small price to pay compared to the pain of abuse.

      South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson led the parade along with Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, among many other local leaders.

      Click here to view a photo slideshow of the event.