JOPLIN, Mo. — An eye-opening simulation at the Joplin Public Library shows participants the real-life obstacles for a victim of domestic and sexual violence.

Lafayette House held the “In Her Shoes” demonstration today (Tuesday).

Participants picked a name and literally walked through what the person experienced during a domestic violence situation.

They stopped at tables that simulate real-world conversations and experiences — like an abuser table, a table for friends and family, a medical table… and, yes, even a funeral home.

Because, staff say, the truth is, that is the reality for some victims.

They add… we all would like to think we know what we’d do in that situation, especially if we have financial resources, employment, and family support.

“But, when you’re in a domestic violence situation, your abuser is stripping all of those things away from you. So, we’re forcing you to make decisions a victim would have to make, and, based on those decisions, you’re going through the process,” said Susan Hickam, Lafayette House Executive Director.

The goal for Lafayette House is to create a community of advocates through the “In Her Shoes” simulation to potentially help future victims.