Without a doubt, this is my most favorite DV Awareness event of the month – “walking a mile in her shoes”. Although one wasn’t planned in October for Oahu this year (one was done in April which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month) the Big Island will be hosting TWO this upcoming Saturday, October 29th sponsored by the YWCA in Hilo and in Kailua-Kona. For more information about this weekend’s event or to make a pledge, click here: http://www.ywcahawaiiisland.org/node/25
The idea for this event came from a California Marriage & Family Therapist (yay!) named Frank Baird who was looking for a way to get men to change their perceptions about gender-related roles, relationships and violence as he worked with rape victims. What started out in 2001 as a creative activity to encourage men to participate in anti-violence activism has turned into an INTERNATIONAL event for men to show their support towards ending rape and violence against women. http://www.walkamileinhershoes.org/index.html
In 2009 and 2010, I had the honor and privilege of being at the “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” event that was held at Oahu’s Leeward Community College organized under the leadership of then Masters student, Jennifer Ko. At last year’s event, Jennifer had painstakenly put domestic violence facts on blown-up images of shoe prints placing them along the entire route of the march so by the end of the walk, you knew more about DV then when you started!
The real fun in this event, however, is seeing the men putting on the shoes and taking their first steps (and then of course, hamming it up for the cameras that are always present!) Aside from experiencing empathy for women the hard way, there is also room for heroics as one man caught another whose balance was thrown off “just a tad” by his heels and another who provided a steady arm to man desperately clinging to the handrailing while attempting to descend some steps.
Even better is when you have dignitaries and public figures braving 3 inch heels such as Hilo Police Chief Harry Kubojiri, Fire Chief Darren Rosario, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Civil Defense Director Quince Mento and Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Iboshi will be doing. http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/community/y-walk-works-end-violence.html
The “Walk A Mile” events in both Hilo and Kona will start at 8:30am (with registration at 7:30am) and wrap-up with Closing Ceremonies at 9:30am so if you happen to be on the Big Island this weekend, come to join in or to cheer on our walkers and of course, tell everyone you know about this good-fun event!