Stallions in Stilettos

Whether you’re a football fan or not, chances are you will be one of millions of other Americans watching the Super Bowl this weekend. Did you know that Super Bowl weekend is also a busy weekend for human traffickers? A group of men at USM’S Gulf Park campus are stepping up to help in the effort to raise awareness of this vicious crime. News 25’s Kristen Durand has the story.
To understand a person’s situation, you must first walk a mile in their shoes. In these guys’ cases, it’s heels. Assistant professor of management Dr. Jacob Breland said, “It’s awkward, quite uncomfortable. I now have a new appreciation for folks who routinely wear things like this on the daily.”
But, they’re doing it for a good cause, raising awareness for human trafficking, something that often slips under the radar. But not on this day, as ten male students and staff members at USM’S Gulf Park campus traded their flats for heels as part of the Stallions in Stilettos fundraiser, all stepping up in the fight against this crime. Vice President of Gender Studies Organization Mary Maner said, “You never know. Right next door, you can have activities like this going on and unless you’re aware of what it is, it just continues to go on and that’s something we’re trying to prevent.”
Especially here on the Coast. Outreach prevention educator Rene Davis said, “We are considered a high intensity drug trafficking area and for the same reasons that it’s really easy for people to pass drugs through this area, it’s easy to pass people through here.”
Sexual assault prevention and response coordinator Stephanie Piper said, “During Super Bowl weekend, especially when it comes to children. So, there are more children being traded in sex trafficking during this weekend than any other weekend of the year.”
Proceeds from the benefit will go towards raising awareness for human trafficking here on the Coast, all thanks to these guys in their heels. Director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Brett Harris said, “It’s something that nobody deserves to go through and if I can wear some shoes for a few minutes and help raise awareness about it, I’m happy to do that.”

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