Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Some say pain is beauty and that's what many found out Thursday night over at the State House grounds.

Thousands of participants including law enforcement officers and charity organizers took part in the Walk A Mile In Their Shoes event. It was organized by the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands.

The group started at the State House and walked a one mile loop around downtown Columbia.

Layla Ferjani helped organize the event.

"It's definitely neighbors getting to know neighbors. People are coming out here and the shoes are just a conversation starter," she said. "One in four women are affected (and) one in 32 men."

Since 2010 the event has hosted over 5,000 walkers. That's nearly 10,000 pairs of high heels, boots, sandals and shoes.

Carlos Suarez was the top fundraiser for 2017.

"It's about having fun, coming together at a family friendly kind of place, but it's a real serious issue that introduces," he said.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook also joined in the walk.

"It takes so much for a victim to come forward and we realize that," he said.

To date the organization has raised at least $250,000 dollars for services.

To learn more about the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands click here.