Richmond: Police officers from Norfolk, Virginia went on patrol strutting their stuff in a pair of pink heels. It was all for a good cause, however. Chief L. Boone and Deputy Chief J. Clark sported the bright crimson and magenta heels to bring awareness to sexual assault, rape and gender violence.
The officers are part of a number of men across the country who has been wearing heels (in public!) in honor of the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heels as a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness of sexual assault in their community.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Statistics show that one in six women in America are victims of sexual assault which means almost everyone is likely to know someone who has been directly affected by it.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence was started in 2001.
The attention-grabbing scene of men wearing women’s shoes was designed to create a dialogue about an issue that is often hidden from public view and forgotten about as a result.
Founder of the movement, Frank Baird, also believes that although the immediate victims are women, the fallout from an attack is not exclusive to them.
‘Violence against women does not just affect women. Men are hurt and angered when women they care about are raped,’ he says on his website.
‘Men are hurt and angered when they try to develop relationships with women in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust and blame. And the same violence that targets women also targets men because rape isn’t about sex, its about power, control and violence.’