Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Speaking for My First "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes"

Each year, an ever-increasing number of men, women and their families are joining Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is a fun opportunity for men to educate the community about a very serious subject and to rally the community to take action to prevent sexualized violence.

There is an old saying: "You can't really understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes." Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® asks men to literally walk one mile in women's high-heeled shoes. It's not easy walking in these shoes, but it's fun and it gets the community to talk about something that's really difficult to talk about: gender relations and sexual violence.

It's critical to open up communication about sexual violence. While hidden away, it's immune too cure. Unfortunately, it's difficult to get people talking. People unfamiliar with it often don't even want to know it exists. It's ugly. People that have experienced it themselves want to forget about it. How do you get them talking now, so they can prevent it from happening? And after it's happened, how do you get them to talk about it so they can recover?

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® provides several opportunities to get people talking. For preventive education, it helps men better understand and appreciate women’s experiences, thus changing perspectives, helping improve gender relationships and decreasing the potential for violence. For healing, it informs the community that services are available for recovery. It demonstrates that men are willing and able to be courageous partners with women in making the world a safer place.

Sexualized violence does not just affect women. It affects the men who care about them, their families, their friends, their coworkers, and their communities. Sexualized violence is epidemic. Some of the statistics: Every two minute someone in America is raped. One in six American women are victims of sexual assault.That means someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual violence. It may be your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your wife, your coworker, or your daughter.

With a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, who proudly displayed his size 13D red pumps! :D

With Towson School Police Office, Cedrick, who also walked the mile today. I am so glad that so many men showed their support!

Look how much bigger this foot is than mine.. and he said his feet hurt really bad! LOL! 

With Santiago Solis, who joined Towson University in August 2007 as a part of the Center for Student Diversity. He had on a pair of shoes that I own in a different color! :D

These were some of the biggest high heels I have ever seen in my life... these were size 13!! :D

How cute... one day, honey, you can walk the mile...
Proudly addressing an audience of supportive men... 
With the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, who brought a large amount of their fraternity out to walk in heels! (Some of the volunteers are not even pictured!) They were so proud and excited to have been able to help prevent sexual violence.

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