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Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services

Walk A Mile: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

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Where am I supposed to find women's shoes that fit my feet?

Participants have found shoes at Value Village, Goodwill, Payless Shoe Source, and Ebay.  A limited number of shoes will also be available at the march.

What can women do at this march?

Women are encouraged to attend the march!  In the past, women have participated by following the march with encouraging signs and cheered on the participants. 

Who can attend the event at Boundary Bay Brewery following the march?

Anyone is welcome to attend the all-ages, post-march celebration!  The event will be held in the Boundary Bay Beer Garden and will feature live music, raffle drawings, food, drinks, and more.  All ages are welcome.

What if I want to donate, but I can't participate in the march?

Donations can be given online here.

 Who started Walk a Mile in Her Shoes?

Activist Frank Baird first proposed Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence to Valley Trauma Center (VTC) in 2001. Women had created a successful rape crisis movement and Frank was grateful to have been able to join their efforts. He had worked with VTC since 1993 and wanted to increase the opportunities for men to contribute to efforts to end sexualized violence.

"Violence against women does not just affect women," he said. "Men are hurt and angered when women they care about are raped. Men are hurt and angered when they try to develop relationships with women in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust and blame. And the same violence that targets women also targets men because rape isn't about sex, its about power, control and violence."

Brian Pahl, past coordinator for the Men's Violence Prevention Project at WWU first brought the event to Whatcom County. 

What about men who are victims?

While it may be less commonly discussed, boys and men can also be victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  The Center for Disease Control has reported that one in fourteen men has been physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabitating partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or date at some point in their lives. At DVSAS, one in ten people we help identify as being male.  The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes March is not intended to deny the existence of male victims or imply that all men are perpetrators; in fact, we know that most men do NOT commit acts of violence against intimate partners.  The march is intended to bring attention to the very specific issue of violence against women, a problem that can be solved only when all people, including men, are involved in raising awareness and finding solutions.

Can men really understand what it is like to be a victim of violence just by wearing women's shoes?

Of course not!  The purpose of the event is to raise awareness about issues of violence, to show support for survivors and to remind ourselves and one another that violence against women is not just a "women's issue."  While walking a mile in high heels might be painful, we recognize that it is in no way comparable to pain felt by those affected by domestic and sexual violence.  Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is simply a way to bring attention to this issue and for men to take a stand against the violence that hurts the women in their lives.