Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault & gender violence

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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. 10676328_10152737464502440_4925446385130526384_n 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.

10675516_10152737464867440_2984957545606904603_nI 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 and10689561_10152737464767440_3370760684434170269_n 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.

The next local WAMIHS event is October 25, 2014 in Vero Beach, FL.  For more information on Walk A Mile In Her Shoes internationally, visit their website at http://www.walkamileinhershoes.org/

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.

Quotes tattooed on my wrists for the reason stated

Quotes tattooed on my wrists for the reason stated

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