“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” raises awareness about sexual violence

Washburn’s Inter-Fraternity Council hosted “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” at 10 a.m. Oct. 27 on the Union lawn. Men and women were invited to participate in the walk. Male participants put on a pair of pumps to walk in support of women. There was a suggested donation for the event.

“It’s a donation of $5,” said Sam Pomeroy, vice president of the Inter-Fraternity Council. “All donations go to the Washburn Student Advocacy Support Fund for sexual assault reasons.”

After participants donned the heels, they walked a while to adapt to heels. The event began with the messages from coordinators who helped organize the event.

“The first and only rule is not to twist your ankle,” said Jessica Barraclough, director of student activities.

About 15 attendees participated in the event. They took off on a mile-long course around campus wearing heels.

“I used a lot of my arms to walk, surprisingly,” said Jack Siebert, junior communications major and vice president of recruitment for Inter-Fraternity Council. “I was almost running.”

Siebert and his friends started to run in the second half of the course. They were the first group to get back before collapsing to the ground.

“I feel good,” said Matt Willis, senior finance major. “I feel I got a lot of work out, [but] my feet were killed.”

All of the participants successfully completed the course in time with cheers from organizers, students and staff members there to support. They released their feet from the pumps as they got back.

“My feet hurt really bad,” said Siebert. “The shoes didn’t really fit me right, and it hurts a lot more than I thought.”

For some participants, it was there first time walking in heels.

“It brought up an alternative chapter,” said Willis. “Walking on high heels is not as easy as it looks.”

It was the first “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” hosted by IFC. The IFC is the governing body for the Washburn fraternities. It’s made up of delegates from each fraternity and an executive board. It aims to further the interests of fraternities at the university through representation in the community and interest in matters of common concern.

“We had to organize how to get all those shoes, and reserve the time, all the crowd and police,” said Pomeroy. “It was not a huge amount of work, but it was still a good amount of work.”

The event was rescheduled from the original date.

“The Kansas weather was not cooperating,” said Pomeroy. “We originally planned it for three weeks ago, but the weather wasn’t good.”

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is the International Men’s March to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. Participants walked a mile in high heels to raise awareness about the serious causes and effects of sexualized violence against women.

“There is another side to these shoes,” said Pomeroy. “Not just women are victims of them [heels]. People see how the other half has to do with it, because a lot of the time we can’t feel what they’re [women] feeling.”

For more information about “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” visit walkamileinhershoes.org