By Jay Behrke
FISHKILL – The Family Services 6th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes took place Saturday morning at All Sport Health & Fitness Club here and, though some of the men refused to lose the socks while donning high heels, all who attended did so to “raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediations to sexual violence against women.”
“The concept of men walking around in women’s high heels is really for men to stand in solidarity with women who have been victimized by crimes of violence against them,” said Leah Feldman, director of Family Services Domestic Violence Services. “We know that men can also be victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, but the large amount of crime that we see is perpetrated by men against women. So we are looking for men to stand up and say we’re not going to tolerate this behavior in our community, or from other men.”
Using the old saying “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” as inspiration, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. It’s not easy doing so, but it sparks a dialogue about something that’s generally difficult to talk about: rape, sexual violence and gender violence.
- One in three women will be sexually abused in their lifetime.
- 47 percent of all rapists are a friend or an acquaintance.
- One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.
- Every nine seconds in the US, a women is beaten or assaulted
- One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives.
- While most men are not violent, more than 90 percent of sexual violence perpetrators are male.
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