Health & Fitness

"Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" raises awareness to sexual violence at Georgia Southern in a unique way

By: Luke Pashke

 

The University Wellness Program and the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center held the fourth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” on March 31 at the rotunda on Georgia Southern’s campus.

 

The walk attracted plenty of attention, as men, many of them students, from all over the area donned red high heels and walked a mile around campus. The experience is supposed to offer men, in a light-hearted way, the perspective of women

 

“This event is great because it is not something that you see every day, so it’s not something that people are going to walk past and ignore,” Christie Perry, executive director of the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center, said.

 

Educational booths, including the local domestic violence shelter and the SRSAC, surrounded the event and offered people the chance to recognize the services in the area and understand how to reach them, if need be.

 

“They see guys walking in heels and they want to check it out and know what’s going on, so people learn a lot about the issues and the services offered,” Perry said.

 

This is essential because despite proof that sexual violence is a serious problem amongst college students, it’s also a subject that many people, both survivors and others, are uncomfortable to talk about. This leads to a lack of awareness of a grave issue that needs to be addressed.

 

“It’s very important to raise awareness and get the campus talking about it because it’s a high stigma issue,” Gemma Skuraton, a coordinator of the event, said. “We want the survivors to know that they’re not alone and that they can seek help.”

 

The walk’s theme this year was “consent” and defining the term, so that students can have a complete understanding of what “yes” is in a sexual relationship and what it entails.

 

Due to the exposure of alcohol and other drugs that tends to come with social gatherings in college, this is a very important aspect of sexual assault to address. Some students understand this problem all too well, and are looking to raise awareness amongst their peers.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Tariq Abdul

Men from all over Statesboro were equipped with high heels and walked a mile around campus to help raise awareness to sexual violence. All proceeds from the event went to the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center.

“No matter male or female, consent is always important,” Cody Morris, a student at Georgia Southern, said. “I’ve know people in my past who have been affected by sexual assault so it touches home for me.”

 

While the stigma surrounding sexual violence makes it difficult, the University Wellness Program and the SRSAC are working steadfastly throughout the year to reach people that are still dealing with their issues alone. Despite the uphill battle, Perry knows how important their cause can be to an individual struggling with sexual assault and its repercussions.

 

“Even if we reach just one person that doesn’t know about us, then we’re doing our jobs and changing lives.”

Georgia Southern University

Communication Arts Department

PO Box 8091

Statesboro, GA 30460

(912) 478-5138

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