Posted September 16, 2008
Idaho State University’s Project Hope Advocacy Program at the Anderson Gender Resource Center has a challenge for the men of Southeastern Idaho: “Stand up, if you can, in a pair of high heels and walk to end sexual and domestic violence.”
The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser will take on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Pocatello and Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Idaho Falls.
In Pocatello, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” will be held on the Idaho State University campus on a new course. Participants will start at the northwest corner of the Rendezvous Complex near the Spirit Shop entrance. They will walk up the hill on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, then turn at the end of the building and then come back through the Rendezvous Complex to complete one lap.
In Idaho Falls, the walk will take place at the Bennion Student Union Building Multipurpose Room at University Place.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
For more information, contact Kimerbly Talbot at 282-2805.
WHY IS THE ANDERSON CENTER HAVING THIS EVENT?
Whether it is realized or not, each of us knows someone whose life has been directly affected by domestic or sexual violence, according to Kimberly Talbot, director of the Project Hope Advocacy Program. Current estimates tell us that:
• One in four women and one in 11 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, according to the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
• Domestic violence occurs in one-quarter to one-third of all intimate partner relationships, according to The Riley Center.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes allows members of the public to engage in the work of ending the violence.
There is an old saying that goes, “You can’t understand someone’s experiences until you walk a mile in her shoes.
” While many people may have the perception that domestic violence and sexual assault are ‘women’s issues,’ we believe that inviting men to become allies in ending the violence sends a powerful message,” Talbot said. “In asking men to publicly stand up and show their commitment to ending violence, their actions will encourage other men to start thinking about how they personally can do their part to end violence.”
WHY MEN IN HIGH HEELS?
Domestic violence and sexual assault are extremely serious problems, but too often the general public finds itself unable to address such issues.
“Through humor, we are able to reach and educate those who, for whatever reason, initially find themselves unable to deal with these serious topics,” Talbot said. “By reaching out to them in a non-threatening way, we allow them to begin to face the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault.”
HOW DID WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES START?
Frank Baird, a Clinical Supervisor at the Valley Trauma Center in Van Nuys, Calif., first proposed the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in 2001 to raise awareness about sexual assault. Baird writes of his experience:
“Women had created a very successful rape crisis movement and I was grateful to have been able to join their efforts. I…wanted to increase the opportunities for men to contribute to efforts to make the world safer.”
“Violence against women does not just affect women. Men are hurt and angered when women they care about are raped…And the same violence that targets women also targets men because rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power, control and violence…I knew that for every man who could be persuaded to think differently about gender roles, gender relationships and gender violence, many more women would be spared – and so, too, would the men in their lives.”
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
1. Come to the Anderson Center, Graveley Hall North, on the ISU Campus to pick up a pledge sheet.
2. Get pledges – minimum 25-cents per lap or a one-time donation. All walkers must have a minimum amount of $25 in pledges/donations to participate.
3. Make a copy of your pledge sheet, bring it to the event and hand it in when you sign up.
4. Walk on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., northwest entrance of the Rendezvous Complex near the Spirit Shop entrance on the ISU Pocatello Campus (rain site: Rendezvous Building Foyer); or walk on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Bennion Student Union Multipurpose Room on the ISU Idaho Falls Campus
5. Collect pledge money by Oct. 17, and return it to the Anderson Center. Checks should be made payable to the Anderson Center.