“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is being held to increase awareness about issues of violence towards women at UHMC and in the Maui community. Its purpose is to empower men to be leaders and advocates for the prevention of violence against women.
“We are asking men to walk a ‘mile’ (in this case, around the Great Lawn) in women’s high-heeled shoes,” said Arias Banaag, one of the organizers of the event , which has energized the campus and the community.
It may seem playful, but it has serious purpose.
Students and faculty stand together against Domestic Abuse and Sexual violence during a “Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes” event held at Honolulu Community College. Maui’s event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the UH Maui College Great Lawn.
Every two minutes, someone in America is raped. One in six American women are victims of sexual assault. Recently, the Maui Police Department reported that intimate partner violence had increased 37 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year.
“You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” Banaag said.
During the walk, the campus will be open to the Maui community with food, music, and informational services from local agencies providing advocacy and services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is not only fun and informative, it provides the community with an opportunity to talk about a topic that’s really difficult to talk about—gender relations and sexual violence.
It will also offer the opportunity to take the “Men Against Sexual Violence Pledge:”
• That what I do and say can either encourage or discourage stereotypes that can lead to sexual violence.
• That sexual violence can happen to anyone.
• That men and women are victims of sexual violence.
• That sexual violence can be prevented.
• That the overwhelming number of victims of sexual violence are women.
• That real men use their power to strengthen their relationships.
• That men must play a critical role in breaking the cycle of sexual violence.
So, I promise…
• To take a stand and never commit, condone, accept, or stay silent about sexual violence.
• To challenge other men to recognize that they can be powerful without making others powerless.
• To encourage all men to work together with women, using their collective voices and resources to end sexual violence.
“Ponolove,” a UHMC sexual violence prevention project, in collaboration with the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Women’s Center and Women Helping Women, along with the Maui Domestic Violence Task Forces of West Maui, Central Maui and East Maui, extend an earnest invitation for community participation at this free event.