Walk a Mile in her Shoes Sept. 30
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Men are marching in cherry red stiletto-heeled shoes for the second year in a row to put an end to sexual violence.
After a successful first year, representatives of the University of Iowa Walk a Mile in Her Shoes initiative are gearing up for the second annual event. The march will start at noon Sunday, Sept. 30, at the UI Pentacrest at the intersection of Clinton Street and Iowa Avenue in downtown Iowa City.
Participants are encouraged to arrive at 11:30 to allow time for photos. Although only men wear the shoes in the march, everyone is invited to participate in this event, which is designed to raise awareness and funds.
Participants march in the first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes on the University of Iowa campus in 2011. Photo courtesy of Men's Anti-Violence Council.
The walk route will take participants in a loop, starting at the Pentracrest, marching north towards Burge Residence Hall, back through the T. Anne Cleary Walkway towards the Pentacrest, and finishing outside of McBride Hall. A free educational program will immediately follow the event starting at approximately 12:30 to 12:45 p.m. in Macbride Auditorium.
The educational program will last about 60 minutes, and members of the Men's Anti-Violence Council will discuss topics important to sexual assault prevention. These include components of healthy and unhealthy relationships, the rationale for and implementation of affirmative consent at the UI, and bystander tools to empower attendees to speak up to prevent sexual assault and support survivors of sexual assault.
The Men's Anti-Violence Council at the UI Women's Resource and Action Center, sorority Pi Beta Phi Iowa Zeta Chapter, and fraternity Phi Delta Theta Iowa Beta Chapter are partnering to make this year's event possible. Support is also coming from other fraternities, sororities, and student and community groups.
UI students, faculty, staff, and members of the public are invited to participate to help raise funds for the UI Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), a sexual assault crisis center that provides confidential, accessible support and advocacy to victim/survivors of sexual abuse. RVAP also works to create a community free from sexual violence by providing education and prevention strategies while promoting social change.
"Everyone marches for different reasons, whether they know someone who has been a victim, they themselves have been a victim, or because they want to help make the community safer," says event co-director Brittany Giammona.
Event co-director Reid Senesac, philanthropy chair of Phi Delta Theta, says that this event brings everyone together to make a difference.
"Victims can see they are not alone, and leaders have the opportunity to start making a difference for the better," Senesac says. "Currently, nearly one in four women and one in five men are victims of sexual assault, often by people they know. Together, we can come together and say one rape is one too many."
More than 250 men and women are currently signed up to participate, but more are always welcome. Organizers say they hope for more than 300 participants. The entire community is invited. Shoes are available for purchase before the walk starts.
The registration fee of $15 includes a t-shirt, and all proceeds will support RVAP. Last year's event raised $1,600, and organizers hope to raise at least that much, if not more, this year.
Anyone is welcome to pledge money in advance or on the day of the event. Even if they cannot participate in the march, people are encouraged to stop by and show their support and listen to the educational program after the march.
To get involved, pledge money, or for more information, contact Senesac at email@example.com or 815-545-8909 or Giammona at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-215-2298 or visit the event page at www.facebook.com/groups/UIWalkAMile/.
Frank Baird created Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in 2001. What started out as a small group of men daring to totter around a park has grown to a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs.