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Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Cora St. Marie

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Students and staff at the University of New Haven came together to participate in the annual event “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”

Students and staff at the University of New Haven came together to participate in the annual event “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” to help raise awareness against domestic violence.

to help raise awareness against domestic violence.

On April 10, 2011 women and men gathered around at Lisaman’s Landing in Milford to participate in the fifth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” According to the Rape Crisis Center of Milford website, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is a nationwide event that invites men to join in the efforts of women to make the world a safer place. Men, women, families, neighbors, colleagues, and teams participate in a one-mile walk to raise awareness around issues of rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.

Adult men down to male children chose to walk in this event in heels, wedged shoes, flats, and platform boots to show their appreciation for those women who have been in or survived any type of domestic violence.

There were many sponsors that chose to contribute to this walk, but those from UNH were: Advocate, Jes Champagne of Rape Crisis Center of Milford, Scope, Victimology Club, Active Minds, USGA Community Service Committee, and the Paintball Club.

USGA Community Service Head, Timothy Farmer was one of the men that chose to join the walk while in heels. Farmer said he chose to participate because he feels that domestic violence is a big issue, and it is important that especially guys participate.

Farmer also said that this walk puts guys in a different mindset beyond how uncomfortable the shoes are, but makes guys think of other issues that women have to go through. After walking the mile, Farmer was surprised because the walk was not as bad as he thought it would be. He also commented that this walk will raise more awareness to the issue, and that those who saw the big group pass by within the town of Milford will hopefully choose to walk next year and increase awareness.

UNH campus police participant, Sgt. Kevin Holster was seen at the walk with a pair of vibrant pink platform boots to help raise awareness against domestic violence. Holster has participated in this event since it first started. It was his friend who had originally talked him into joining the walk.

Holster said that he thinks it is very important that people participate in walks like “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” because it helps promote awareness for domestic violence, raise money for the Rape Crisis Center of Milford, and help support those survivors of sexual assault.

Holster also commented on how he was going to maintain his stamina throughout the walk. “I just want to keep my heels on the ground and take it one step at a time,” Holster said.

Participant Peter Berube said he was forced to walk in heels because his wife is on the board of the Rape Crisis Center of Milford. Berube said he thinks it is very important that there are walks like the one held because it creates awareness. He also commented that it was his fourth year joining in the walk against domestic violence, but this year it was hard to find shoes to fit his size 13 feet.

Assistant Director of Student Activities, Lisa Saverese said Jes Champagne, who works with the Rape Crisis Center of Milford, was the one who helped get UNH involved with the walk. Ever since, there have been students involved in the walk and students from the Victimology Club have helped provide parking and volunteering their time with set up.

Saverese said the Rape Crisis Center of Milford has done a lot for the community and the university throughout the year. The Rape Crisis Center of Milford has provided students with education in relationship violence, sexual assault, and how to be aware and safe to prevent those from happening.

“It is very important that students participate in events like this,” Saverese said, “because it shows that they are involved in the community and are aware of the issues. By giving back, it shows that the students appreciate what the community has done for them” She hopes that students will learn about the different organizations involved in this event and how important it is to raise awareness within the community. “I hope that it will educate our students what these organizations do and how we can be support to them as much as they are to us.”

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Walk a Mile in Her Shoes