Whether it's high heels or Mary Jane's, men and women alike are invited to slip on some female footwear and take part in a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event to be held at the University of Maine at Presque Isle at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9. The event, part of the international men's march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence, will begin at the Campus Center.
Established in 2001, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs. During the event at UMPI, walkers will begin at the Campus Center and walk a designated path equivalent to one mile, in women's shoes. Upon return, survivors and volunteers will share their story of rape, domestic violence, and hope.
UMPI's Student Activities Office is coordinating this event, which is being sponsored by the Student Organization of Social Work, the Campus Activities Board, UMPI Athletics and Resident Assistants. The campus groups are being assisted by the Hope and Justice Project.
"There are many people who are impacted by domestic violence and abuse and it's important for women as well as men who are in violent relationships to know there are resources in this community and there are people in this community that support them in reaching out and asking for help," April Sue Platt, UMPI's Area Coordinator of Student Activities, said. "This event is really about showing support."
Platt explained that this is a rain or shine event: if the weather is nice, the walking route will go around the campus; if there is inclement weather, walkers will take the main walking path from the Campus Center to Gentile Hall and back.
Community members and law enforcement officials have been invited to take part in this event. Platt and student organizers are hoping to have at least 25 to 30 walkers in women's shoes.