On April 12, 2018 ETSU’s Oasis held its fifth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event in Borchuck plaza.
Approximately 60 people showed up to participate in the walk. The atmosphere was full of cheer as people laughed and chatted with one another.
Soft rock emitted from the speakers and hard scuffs echoed across the plaza as men dragged their feet alongside the pavement struggling to walk in bright red high heels.
While waiting for the event to start, folks could register for the walk, grab some refreshments and watch the slide show presentation of the previous “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” events.
This event was a chance for men in the community to take a stand against sexual and relationship violence.
Before the walk began, Oasis Coordinator Kate Emmerich spoke to the audience about how we can prevent sexual violence with bystander intervention.
“Beware of the language you use about women; boys look up to you,” said Emmerich.
When men say derogatory things about women boys internalize it making the cycle of abuse continue. Emmerich explained this by providing the example of how a young boy stated that it would destroy him if his coach said that he “played like a girl”.
Emmerich believes that listening to girls and women when they speak up about their experiences of violence is helpful as well.
ETSU student Alden Duren was excited about the event. He brought a pair of fancy leopard print heels to wear to the walk and even rode on a skateboard, in heels, during part of the walk.
“My feet hurt. I’m going to need to amputate my pinky toe, but this was a lot of fun,” Duren said.
After the walk, everyone gathered back in the plaza to participate in the raffle. Participants could win gift cards to White Duck Taco Shop, Willow Tree, Earthfare and Chick-fil-a.
Another way bystanders can prevent sexual violence is by speaking up when they witness someone doing something wrong.
“You walked the walk,” said Emmerich. “Now talk the talk.”