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Preview: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Each year an increasing number of men, women and their families are joining the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. A Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is a high-spirited opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes and effects of men’s sexualized violence against women.

There is an old saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Walk a Mile in Her Shoes asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. It’s not an easy task to walk in these shoes, but it’s exciting and gets the community to talk about something that’s a difficult subject matter. Opening communication about sexualized violence is critical. While hidden away, sexualized violence is immune to cure.

However, it’s difficult to get people talking. People unfamiliar with men’s sexualized violence against women don’t want to know it exists, and people that have experienced sexualized violence themselves, want to forget about it.  The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is helpful in order to get people talking. It helps men better understand and appreciate women’s experiences. It changes perspectives, helps improve gender relationships and decreases the potential for violence. It also heals and informs the community about services that are available for recovery. This event demonstrates that men are willing and able to be courageous partners with women in making the world a safer place.

VSU students have a lot to say about this important matter.

Morgan Kidd, a freshman psychology major, said, “I think that says a lot about the men who are willing to do that. I like that they actually have marches like that.”

Haley Garrett, a sophomore biology major, said, “I think that’s really nice and encouraging to those who are afraid to speak up for any reason. I think those who participate are kind hearted with good intentions, and I do believe they make a difference.”

The walk should be one to remember. The event at VSU is hosted by The Valdosta State University Colony of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. with assistance from the The Haven, VSU’s Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Task Force, Counseling Center, Sociology Club, Campus Recreation and Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion. It will take place on Tuesday, April 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, you can sign up on the VSU website.

Story by Savannah Oliver, Assistant Campus Life editor. Photo courtesy of walkamileinhershoes.org.

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