Walk A Mile In Her Shoes For The Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Essex County (SACC)
On Saturday May 6, 2017 men in our community are asked to come and support the “International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence: Walk A Mile In Her Shoes.” Those who are man enough to put themselves in her shoes can show up to participate at 10 a.m. to the Riverside Sportsmen’s Club, 10835 Riverside Drive East in Windsor.
Lydia Fiorini, the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Essex County describes the event as an opportunity for men to show they are allies to women in the fight to end violence against women and children. Men are asked to put on a pair of red heels, talk and walk a mile.
Fiorini notes “The red shoes worn in the walk represent the oppression of women and when men wear the red shoes they participate in a simulation exercise in attempt to help them connect with this oppression.”
Norm Bezaire, of Edward Jones a walker last year believes the walk is a worthwhile event. He started to participate in the walk because he wanted to find a way that he can show his committed stance against male violence.“I have participated in this event for years as it is important to let women and children in this community know they have the support of men who want violence to end,” he states.
The walk is an annual event that takes place during “Sexual Assault Awareness” month in May. The Centre hopes the event continues to grow each year with more and more men walking a mile.
Boris Joris manages the Male Batterer Intervention Program at Family Services of Windsor-Essex Counselling & Advocacy Centre and knows first-hand the importance of men standing strong against violence.
Joris says “Men can lend their leadership and courage to stand strong against sexual violence. Not all men are violent and it is important for those who are not to intervene when they witness such violence. Men cannot remain silent bystanders but must respond to behaviour and actions that are abusive towards women in their commitment to working towards change.”
Feature photo: Members of the University of Windsor Lancers Baseball team knocked one out of the park with their large turnout at last year’s event. Photo by Rebecca Wright.