Heels on the Move to Heels is a fantastic charity event focused on helping victims empower themselves. I know from experience how important this is. Many people who are victims of abuse, domestic violence, or sexual assault can find it challenging to leave the situation. Kia D, the founder of Heels on the Move to Heal 501(c)3, started the organization to give survivors shoes, resources and much needed support. Kia, a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, made a split-second decision to leave her abuser. She didn’t even have time to put shoes on her feet when she left the situation. Kia is an inspiration to survivors.

This project spoke to me because I’m a rape survivor. Survivors need support from charities like Heels on the Move to Heal. As a survivor of sexual assault, it took me half of my life to come to terms with what happened to me. I was a teenager, and my family never talked about sex. My lack of understanding meant that I was easily confused. Over a decade later, I still struggle with the pain of having taken back my claim of assault. I was confused and scared. Like many victims, I felt as though I was to blame for what happened. Sadly, victims often shut out the world and blame themselves for abuse, and abusers are often great manipulators. This manipulation can cut connections between victims and their loved ones; severing these connections is devastating. I’ve struggled for years to connect with other people; I was always afraid of being hurt or thrown away. My teens and early twenties were a roller coaster ride. I jumped from one toxic relationship to another, seeking the love and approval while thinking that I was an awful person and believing that I wasn’t worthy of love and respect. My poor self-image meant that I got into a cycle of abusive partners and self-harm. When I found a support system, I finished college, became a published writer, and came out as bisexual.

Being a victim is scary and confusing, and very lonely. My world opened up when I found a supportive community. The message of Heels on the Move to Heal is a message of victim empowerment and letting victims know that they aren’t alone; victim support is vital to the healing process. Please give to this charity help victims get shoes and moral support so that they may begin to heal. For more information or to donate go to

Keely Messino

Creative Content Writer