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1st Annual Purple Hose & Heels 5K Walk Brings Awareness to Domestic Violence

Lee Edwards | 10/23/2014, 3:53 p.m.
A little bad weather was not enough to stem the tide of optimism at the 1st Annual Purple Hose & ...
Latrice Mosley-Smith, founder of the Purple Hose & Heels 5K and owner of the Ice Cream Lady’s Haute Hosiery, proudly holds up the official 1st Annual Purple Hose & Heels 5K sign. The event served the dual purpose of raising awareness about domestic violence and as a fundraiser for the South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS), 18137 Harwood Ave., Homewood, Ill. Photo by Lee Edwards

A little bad weather was not enough to stem the tide of optimism at the 1st Annual Purple Hose & Heels 5K walk held on the walking trail adjacent to the Target, 4647 Promenade Way, in Matteson, Ill. on Oct. 18. The event served the dual purpose of raising awareness about domestic violence and as a fundraiser for the South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS), 18137 Harwood Ave., Homewood, Ill.

Target sponsored the walk in acknowledgement of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Purple is the official DVAM color.

Since 1987, October has been recognized as DVAM as deemed by the National Council Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) which defines domestic violence as:

A repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. These are behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. Abuse includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of abuse can be going on at any one time.

Participants of the 1st Annual Heels and Hose 5K head towards the finish line on a damp and cold morning on Oct. 18, 2014.  The Heels and Hose 5K was held on the walking trail adjacent to the Target on 4647 Promenade Way, in Matteson, Ill. on Oct. 18. Target served as the title sponsor.

Participants of the 1st Annual Heels and Hose 5K head towards the finish line on a damp and cold morning on Oct. 18, 2014. The Heels and Hose 5K was held on the walking trail adjacent to the Target on 4647 Promenade Way, in Matteson, Ill. on Oct. 18. Target served as the title sponsor.

“Domestic violence is somewhat of a taboo, you don’t want to talk about it, you don’t want to discuss it,” said Latrice Mosley-Smith, founder of the Purple Hose & Heels 5K and owner of the Ice Cream Lady’s Haute Hosiery. “With us doing this event it’s definitely raising awareness and it’s opening up the conversation.”

The inspiration behind the walk stemmed from Mosley-Smith’s desire to honor her late mother who was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her late father.

Mosley-Smith also stated “we are just getting started” in terms of the future of the Heels and Hose 5K and added that she felt it was important to hold the first ever Heels and Hose 5k within her community.

“We just want to increase awareness [of domestic violence] and let the Matteson community know that we do support them and also appreciate them for being loyal guests so this was a way to support the community,” said Deonte Smith, Store Team Leader, Target-Matteson, Ill.

Runners and walkers who participated in the Purple Hose & Heels 5K walk were unified by the long reaching impact of domestic violence.

“[Domestic violence awareness] is a cause that’s near and dear to me; I’ve actually experienced some domestic violence growing up in early relationships so once I found a sense of self-worth, I realized I was bigger and better than those situations and I just had to walk away so now I am here supporting those who are going through and who actually made it to the other side,” said Romonia Williams, a leg model for the Ice Cream Lady Haute Hosiery who also participated in the walk.

According to a report by the Women of Color Network (WOCN), an estimated 29.1% of African American women are victimized by intimate partner violence in their lifetime (rape, physical assault or stalking). Although less likely to seek help in the form of social services, battered women's programs or go to the hospital because of domestic violence than Caucasian women, African American women are victims of intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of Caucasian women and about 2.5 times the rate of women of other races.

For more information about the Heels and Hose 5K visit http://www.hautehosiery.com/. To learn more about domestic violence visit http://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1-800-799-7233 for immediate assistance.