From the press release:
Our VOICE, the Buncombe County Rape Crisis and Prevention Center, is excited to be holding the 3rd Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes – the International Men’s March Against Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence.
The Walk will take place on Saturday April 28th beginning at City/County Plaza and meandering one mile through the streets of downtown Asheville. Registration/check-in begins at 11am and the Walk kicks off at noon. Awards will be given after the Walk at 12:45.
Men don women’s shoes (mostly heels though an occasional wedge or flowery flip-flop is spotted) to show their solidarity with women during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence has forever been portrayed as a “women’s issue” and Our VOICE uses the Walk a Mile to not only generate awareness for the agency’s free and confidential services, but to bring men into the conversation about ending sexual violence together as a community.
This year’s sponsors include Mission Hospital as well as several local businesses that are on the Walk Route – Tops for Shoes, Sisters McMullen, Table, Salsa’s, and Hip Replacements (where men can purchase shoes for only $15). Shoes are also available at the Walk for rent though Our VOICE is unable to guarantee sizes. Another great place for men to shop for shoes is at area Goodwill stores.
In the past 10 years, Our VOICE has seen a remarkable increase not only in the number of male volunteers (answering the 24/7 Crisis Line, presenting education programming to schools, and serving on the Board of Directors), but also in the number of males seeking services. In 1996 there were only 3 men who sought services at Our VOICE; in 2011, Our VOICE served 39 men (most of whom were victims of childhood sexual abuse).
“We are excited about this event not only because of the community support we receive but also because there are so many caring men in this community that are willing to take a stand and let everyone know they are MAN enough to Walk a Mile in woman’s shoes. This ironic display makes a statement on gender stereotypes and engages men in the conversation about sexual violence that we may not otherwise have been able to begin.” – Katherine Cross, Our VOICE Executive Director.
Registration for the Walk is only $10, teams are encouraged, and everything (including fundraising) can be done online at www.WalkAMileAsheville.org. Women and children are welcome to walk as well!