Put yourself in her shoes: Men don stilettos for one mile march to raise awareness for sexual violence against women
17:34 GMT, 19 April 2012
Usually the sight of men tottering around in high heels is confined to a late night cabaret or a Gay Pride parade.
But yesterday, in San Jose, California, droves of men wearing high heeled shoes turned out for the 10th annual ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event to raise awareness of sexual violence against women.
Taking the metaphorical challenge of putting themselves in the shoes of someone else quite literally, the male activists stepped out in charity t-shirts and an array of stilettos spurred on by their friends and families.
Man up: Droves of male activists banded together wearing high heels for the 10th annual ‘Walk A Mile In Her Shoes’ event to raise awareness against sexual violence in San Jose, California
Harder than they thought A group of men rest their weary feet during the gender equality event that first launched 11 years ago
Styles on parade ranged from the red patent leather kitten heel to the green Seventies platform sandal as men wobbled their way along the route in their newly acquired footwear.
The event takes place every year in different locations across the country as a reminder to all of the brutalities women suffer at the hands of abusive partners.
Policing a new way: A San Jose cop tries on a pair of heels in anticipation of the mile the activists walked to show support for victims of sexual abuse
See how fun it can be! The march takes place every year as an effort to encourage a dialogue about an issue that often goes unreported
According to the Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, one victim of rape and sexual assault was reported every two minutes between 2006-2010.
That is a total of about 207,754 cases of domestic and sexual violence.
Statistics, according to the organisation’s website, show that one in six women in America are victims of sexual assault which means we all may know someone who has been directly affected by the ‘epidemic’.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence was started in 2001.
You might need to wax those… The activists wore an array of heeled dazzlers for the event on April 18
The attention-grabbing scene of men wearing womens shoes was designed to create a dialogue about an issue that is often hidden from public view and forgotten about as a result.
Founder of the movement, Frank Baird, also believes that although the immediate victims are women, the fallout from an attack is not exclusive to them.
‘Violence against women does not just affect women. Men are hurt and angered when women they care about are raped,’ he says on his website.
‘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.’