Walk a Mile in Her Shoes – the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence April 22, 2011Posted by Alicia in Cool Stuff, Domestic Abuse, Local Heroes.
In cities around the world, at various times of the year, men will be marching the streets in high heels, wearing t-shirts and holding up signs that say “walk a mile in her shoes.”
They will awkwardly stumble past red silhouetted sculptures dedicated to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Their feet will ache as they pass the clotheslines filled with t-shirts, each created by a survivor of domestic violence bravely telling her story. As the men march on for a mile, they can read signs hanging above an overwhelming number of high heels along the fence, each explaining the story of a child who was the victim of domestic or sexual abuse. They will make it to the finish line because they are dedicated to raising awareness; they are telling the world that this is not just a women’s issue.
These are the men of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.
This began in 2002 with Frank Baird, the creator of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence. In 2007 he created a non-profit organization, Venture Humanity, Inc. a community project that promotes peace and prevents violence.
He brings a great deal of experience to his cause. Since 1993 he’s worked with the women who organized Valley Trauma Counseling, a rape crisis Center. Baird is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and has received several awards honoring men who have contributed greatly to the cause. He currently has a private practice in Westlake Village, California and is involved in training events too numerous to name here, but if you want to read a fun bio and see his picture, go here.
The Walk A Mile In her Shoes campaign has grown from a few men walking in the park to tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault. Behind the scenes are women and men dedicated to pulling off such an extravagant event.
They organize committees, find sponsors, provide the high heels, make the t-shirts, and plan educational events that reach out to the community. But it doesn’t have to be a huge event to be successful. You just need to follow the guidelines from the website, find a few modest contributions for an authorization license, and learn to delegate, delegate, delegate. So check out their website calendar, see if an event will be in your area, or get busy creating your own!
Whether you are motivated to find out more, or you’ve decided this is a really great idea but too much for you to take on, there are three easy ways we can all help the survivors of domestic and sexual violence:
- Donate your used cell phone and accessories to the Verizon Wireless Program.
Proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence, providing wireless services and awarding financial grants.
- Donate supplies to a local domestic violence shelter.
They are often in need of the most basic items from toiletries to diapers.
- Support candidates who promote gender equality.
Speak out against those that don’t.