On Sept. 21, the age-old question about who wears the pants in a given household will be less relevant than the question: Who’s wearing the heels?
The Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society (HSWC) is urging Squamish-area men who want to support programs that help fight domestic violence in our community to answer: I am.
For the fifth straight year, the society is inviting men to take part in Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, a pledge march in which males from all (ahem) walks of life don bright red high heels and walk what Megan Reynolds, the centre’s resource development manager, called a “symbolic mile.”
The march will start at the HSWC on Third Avenue and travel to Victoria Street, on Cleveland Avenue to Winnipeg Street and back on Third Avenue to the HSWC. The distance isn’t exactly… er, certified, Reynolds said.
“It would be pretty tricky to complete a full mile in those shoes,” she said with a laugh.
The society, which operates Pearl’s Place Transition House for women fleeing domestic abuse and Children Who Witness Abuse programs, has set targets of 100 men and $10,000 raised from this year’s march.
Frank Baird first proposed Walk A Mile In Her Shoes®: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence to officials at the Valley Trauma Centre near Los Angeles in 2001. While it’s part of an international movement, each pledge walk is organized and operated locally for the benefit of the local community, Reynolds said.
“It’s a really neat concept because it’s scalable and yet it has a powerful and consistent message about preventing violence in our communities,” she said.
Those interested in taking part in the Sept. 21 event are encouraged to go online and register for the event in advance, then start lining up pledges from family, friends, colleagues and others. Groups, including sports teams or workplaces, are encouraged to sign up as a group and challenge each other to collect the most pledges.
Paper pledge forms are available at the HSWC, online at www.hswc.ca/walkamile or through the society’s Facebook page, Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society. Those seeking more information may call the centre at (604) 892-5748.