By LUCIA VITI | Downtown News
Glenn and Claudia Sinkule lost their 25-year-old daughter Nicole to domestic violence. The “artistic beauty” was bludgeoned to death with a hammer – 13 blows to her head and neck – by her boyfriend who was high on methamphetamine.
Upon arrival, the police removed the hammer’s claw still protruding from Nicole’s neck.
The young couple’s relationship ran rabid with the red flags of domestic violence. Incredibly, the police were called to the couple’s apartment earlier that fateful day. Assured that the incident in question lacked physical violence, they left. Three hours later Nicole was dead.
In exchange for a guilty plea for first-degree murder, Nicole’s abuser and murderer received the minimum punishment, 16 years to life in prison.
Nicole’s story of domestic violence is sadly a familiar tale, one that the Sinkule’s have dedicated themselves to ending.
Glenn and Claudia will be among the many participating in San Diego’s YWCA’s Walk A Mile In Their Shoes event to be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Downtown’s Martin Luther King Promenade at K Street.
Men, women and children will don high heels – although heels are optional – and walk a mile to raise awareness for domestic violence while supporting the many programs offered to victims of abuse by YWCA’s Becky’s House.
The Sinkules also participate to “keep Nicole’s memory alive.”
“We walk to help others spread the word about a topic few are willing to talk about,” said Claudia.
“Domestic violence is a non-issue until people become victims,” added Glenn. “Walk A Mile In Their Shoes is a lighthearted day that brings exposure to the victims shamed by domestic abuse.”
The self-described “poster children” for a club they never wanted to belong to, promise to walk at the annual event, now in its 12th year, until the cycle of abuse ends.
“Walk A Mile In Their Shoes engages men and women to discuss the issues surrounding domestic violence,” said Heather Finlay, YWCA’s chief executive officer. “Men walk in heels as a symbolic gesture to initiate a conversation and raise awareness of the issues surrounding domestic violence, although heels are optional; all shoes are invited.
“Everyone walks in their chosen shoes to raise money as we – the YWCA and Becky’s House – educate the community to the services that we provide for victims too frightened to ask for help,” she continued.
Finlay described the endemic of domestic violence as “pervasive.” One in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience domestic violence, usually at the hands of a spouse or partner. One in 7 children are added into the mix. No one is exempt.
“Domestic violence knows no boundaries,” she said. “Domestic violence affects everyone regardless of race, gender, age, creed, income or socio-economic status. Walk A Mile In Their Shoes engages the community to understand the issues of domestic abuse while reaching out victims to let them know that they’re not alone.
Finley noted that the programs offered by the YWCA and YWCA’s Becky’s House are dedicated to helping victims and their families secure safety from their abuser and recover from the trauma of violence. In addition, counselors work with victims to obtain permanent housing so survivors may ultimately achieve independence.
Finlay encourages everyone to join Walk A Mile In Their Shoes and speak out against domestic violence.
“Join us to walk a mile with your friends, family and colleagues in solidarity with domestic violence survivors,” she said. “Everyone and every shoe is welcome!”
Post-walk activities will include fresh Mediterranean fare provided by Luna Grill, the musical trio Mo Jo Jackson, and family-friendly activities and games including a “best-looking shoes” competition.
“Mo Jo Jackson are fabulous musicians,” said Finlay. “And Luna Grill truly understands that a strong community is a community that’s supported by its businesses.”
Walk A Mile In Their Shoes is sponsored by The Smile Generation; Cavignac & Associates; Grahovac Construction Company, Inc.; Macy’s; Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation; Benefit Pro Insurance Services, Inc.; LMC A Lennar Company; KFMB; and Luna Grill.
Event proceeds benefit survivors overcoming trauma and abuse at Becky’s House Domestic Violence Programs.
Registration includes access to all festivities, lunch, an official event T-shirt and a tote bag. Adults are $50 and youth are $30.
To purchase tickets, contact Allison Hall at 619-239-0355 x217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Lucia Viti can be reached at email@example.com.