Men “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” to Stop Gender Violence

On Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM, WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES®, the International Men’s March to End Sexual Assault, Rape and Gender Violence will kick off at the track at Lynch Field in Greensburg. Men from all walks of life will stride, stroll or saunter one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes and will join their voices with women in speaking out against gender violence in Westmoreland County. Organized for Westmoreland County by Blackburn Center Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, this event supports Blackburn Center’s call to action in the community to end gender violence.

WHO and WHAT: Male community members and leaders will proclaim their solidarity with the movement to end rape and domestic violence by walking in women’s shoes, with women and children walking at their sides. Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas, Honorary Chairperson for the event, will also be the Master of Ceremonies. Instructions for walking in heels will be provided by Jame´ Elis of Pittsburgh’s JamDance. Following the Walk, participants are invited to receive a free foot/leg massage from local massage therapists donating their services.

WHEN and WHERE: The Walk is scheduled to begin on April 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM, with registration beginning at 9:00AM at Lynch Field, 526 New Alexandria Road, in Greensburg.

WHY: One in four women will experience gender violence in her lifetime. Think about that: a woman or girl you know, someone you care about — your sister, your co-worker, your girlfriend, your daughter – will be a victim of violence. To end gender violence, the entire community must be involved – women and men. This event provides an opportunity for men to show their support for the women in our community, to show solidarity and to make the commitment to work together with women to end gender violence.

HOW: Contact Blackburn Center through their website to pre-register (www.blackburncenter.org), so that you can be sure to have a pair of shoes ready for you and a tee shirt to take home. In addition, walk-on registrants are welcome (though event planners cannot guarantee shoes or tee shirt availability). Inspired by the old saying “You can’t understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” men will literally walk the talk on April 2. While the event promises to be a lot of fun, it’s also an opportunity for men to show support for the women in their lives, AND to pledge to make Westmoreland County a safer place for women and girls.