On May 3rd, in Fairfield the second annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event was held. This event begins with a march through downtown Fairfield to support efforts to fight sexual and domestic violence against women. Part of the quirk of the event is asking men to wear what is traditionally thought as women’s shoes (the bravest among them don heels) to make the long walk. The symbolism however is also joined with reality, the people walking, whether clad in women’s footwear or not, are showing solidarity with those who have had to face violence, and those working against violence in our society. With many questioning whether issues like sexual assault and domestic violence are getting enough attention, events which raise awareness are welcome.
The walk culminated at Fairfield’s old town hall, where speakers discussed the issue. These speakers including a survivor of sexual assault who was brave enough to share her story. She also however didn’t want the survivor title, and spoke about all the things she is other than that, and all the things other “survivors” are.
The event was primarily sponsored by the Center for Family Justice located in Bridgeport, and the Fairfield Police Department led by Chief Gary MacNamara who participated in the walk in a pair of red heels.
As a new volunteer to the event I did not have the proper footwear but made the walk anyway. It was heartening to see a large crowd marching, including a large contingent of college students when the issue of sexual assault on campus has never been more prominent. The event also raised over $11,000 for the Center for Family Justice’s programs and efforts. The Center’s staff worked very hard to make the event happen and deserve some major compliments.
Events like this can raise money and awareness, though ultimately it is the efforts everyone makes on a daily basis to change the culture and protect people that will either result in change or not. More info about the event can be found at The Center for Family Justice.