I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive! On Saturday, October 11, 2014 our county had its annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event. It is an event where men literally walk one mile in women’s high heeled shoes to protest sexualized violence, educate their communities and raise money for chronically underfunded rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence prevention and recovery services.
It was 8:30am in the morning when registration began. I had my purple shirt on to highlight domestic violence (DV) awareness month, and a bottle of water with me ready to go. I wanted to be present because I’ve been a strong advocate against DV and speak to groups about the potential signs when someone is becoming abusive or being abusive and the risks that may be involved.
By 9:00am men were carefully slipping on their red 4-inch pumps, with some getting an extra shoulder to lean on. The walk hadn’t begun yet and I see a few slinking to sit down; others were walking around in the heels like pros! I’m guessing they practiced at home. By 9:10am the walk began with a red corvette leading the way, and just behind it were men with their flashy red pumps holding up the SafeSpace banner that organized the local event.
I decided to follow alongside and take photos of my experience. Men, women, and children were holding their handcrafted signs up showing their support! A few of my favorites were “Feet are meant for walking not kicking”, “I’m a Lover not a Shover” and “Real men take a stand”. I was very proud to see fathers taking their sons on this walk explaining what this event means. Of course, for the younger kids, they were given red booties to put on instead of high heels – which was adorable in itself! Some men were clicking their heels, doing hand stands, and even walking backwards to show off their talents and testing their high heel skills. Along the walk people shared their personal experience with me and I told my story too. Even some of us prayed together.
By 10:10am the walk had come to an end. People lined up thirsty to get drinks at the cooler and men kicked off their heels like there was no tomorrow. It truly means something when men and women DO take a stand against abuse, especially when the men are willing to walk silly in high heels for an hour (on cobblestone no less) to prove their dedication and optimism in eliminating abuse. Businessmen and women, commissioners, councilmen and women, sheriff officers, police officers, caretakers, enthusiasts and more came out to support the cause! It was a breath of fresh air (okay, literally too) to see the 100s of people who poured in to participate or volunteer for the event.
Although I can’t show you most pictures (for copyright purposes), above are a few I took from the event, and some of my photo artwork I did for the month is below.