The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence sees around one hundred different victims of sexual assault every year. Helping the fight against sexual violence crowds of all genders took part in “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” in Biloxi this morning.
Marchers on Highway 90 in Biloxi this morning were definitely turning heads. Brave men put on high heel shoes for a mile long walk, joining supporters in movement against sexual violence. Participant Kevin Bonner said, “Every woman should have the right to be able to walk down the street and not feel like she’s in danger.”
The seventh annual Walk-A-Mile in her Shoes drew in over one hundred supporters of all genders from across the Coast. Some participants like Bonner have close ties to the cause. “My mom was an abused woman, not sexually abused, but abused in other ways. It’s something that’s very personal for me.”
The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Non-Violence puts on the walk in April in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Although some choose to run, for some the walk wasn’t an easy feat. Participant Brian Lovingood said, “My feet are on fire.”
But the cause was worth the challenge. “Pain that I feel right now is nothing compared to the mental and emotional pain that somebody who is a witness of sexual assault goes through,” said Lovegood.
There were so many participants that not only did they split the walk into three, but they ran out of shoes. “Every person is worthy of respect, that’s the bottom line.”
The walk helped send a powerful message and was a fun way for men to gain perspective of some of the realities of being a woman. Participant Matthew Silpasornprasit said, “To go out and do something, feel what it’s like to put yourself in those shoes of women who have to deal with this every day is kind of more empowering. “
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault call 1-800-800-1396.