Keenan Thungtrakul/Senior Reporter
Imagine a group of guys click-clacking their way around campus in red high heels. Everywhere they walk, they draw the attention of those around them. Spectators cheer them on or laugh as the guys keep trekking on. This is Walk A Mile in Her Shoes, an international campaign that involves men walking one mile in high-heeled shoes to raise awareness about violence against women and domestic violence in general. Kenneth Maddock, the Assistant Dean of Students, gave a short speech to the group as they prepared to march. The march took them through the first three floors of the Student Union, covering the food court, SGA office, and the Library. The sight of the men in high heels was witnessed by everyone the group passed as they marched.
There’s a saying that one can’t understand another’s experience until you’ve gone a mile in their shoes. A common myth states that it is up to women and girls to prevent domestic violence in how they express themselves. The truth is that both sides have an equal responsibility. Men also need to take responsibility to prevent abusive acts too. The men that walked Thursday showed that they were willing to take a stand against such acts and ignorance towards the fact that men also have a responsibility in cultivating abuse-free relationships. This year’s march is headed by the Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority as part of their philanthropy. Marissa Priore of Sigma Sigma Rho stated that this march is one of the main ways that the sorority raises awareness about domestic violence and ways to prevent it. They want to be able to spread awareness of the cause in a fun and humorous manner. The leaders of the march carried a banner signed by students across campus that said, “Pledge to Love, not Abuse.” The organizations that took part in the match included the Dean of Students Office, Housing and Residence Life, various Greek Life groups, the Office of Title IX Compliance, and the Volunteer Network, among others.
Walk A Mile in Her Shoes began in 2001 with a group of men daring to walk around a park in high heels. It then evolved into an international event where tens of thousands of men, women, and families raise funds for local sexual violence response centers and prevention programs. It gets the local community talking about something that’s difficult to talk about: sexual violence. Everyone wants to let go of it as a thing of the past, but when bottled up, the memories come back to haunt them time and time again. The experiences that these people have are often life-changing, they will not be the same people that their friends used to know them as. This psychological disconnection is one of the main reasons why it is important to raise awareness that this kind of violence comes with a hefty price tag. Worse, most victims know their attackers at the time of the incident. The statistics state that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are victims of some form of domestic violence. By continually spreading the word and informing others, everyone can play a role in ensuring abuse becomes a thing of the past.
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