There will be a new event on Oswego State’s campus allowing men to participate in different activities while wearing high-heeled shoes in an attempt to raise awareness for sexual violence.
The event, the second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence will be hosted by Phi Sigma Sigma on Tuesday, April 9. Men are asked to walk a mile while wearing the high-heeled shoes.
Frank Baird established Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in 2001. In the 12 years it has existed, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has become a worldwide movement, with tens of thousands of men participating. Millions of dollars have been raised through the organization and are donated to local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education.
According to the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes website, walkamileinhershoes.org, someone in America is raped every two minutes. One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Between the ages of 20 and 24 is when women face the greatest risk of facing nonfatal violence from the hands of an intimate partner. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, there are about 207,754 sexual assaults each year. 54 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to the police, and 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail. It is the goal of the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes organization to combat these attacks and greatly reduce their frequency.
Phi Sigma Sigma centers its event on knowledge and activities. These activities were created to make the event fun and interactive. Some of the events include a catwalk competition, twerking, limbo and more. All of the events will require the male participants to wear high heels. At the conclusion of the event everyone in attendance will walk around the venue to symbolize walking a mile in another’s shoes.
“It’s a fun and creative way to involve everyone on campus to raise awareness for a cause that could be happening all around us,” Amy Popper, Phi Sigma Sigma member said. “This could be happening to someone’s sister, mother, aunt, or even best friend.”
The organization has been preparing for the event since they held it for the first time last spring. There will be speakers from different locations including the Oswego Women Center. Businesses have been contacted for sponsorships and will have many exciting door prizes to give away. There will also be prizes for the winner of each competition. Members of different sororities will judge each competition. So far all of the participants are members of Greek life, but the event is open to all students.
“I love that our organization is hosting this event again this year,” Taylor Delgado, Phi Sigma Sigma member said. “It really is a good cause. I just wish there was more we could do.”
Phi Sigma Sigma’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event will take place in the Campus Center Arena. It will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the lower concourse. Tickets are $3 at the door. Refreshments will be available for purchase.