Feb 10, 2009 Tami S. Zimmerman Uncategorized
Calling all men: ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’
Okay men, it’s time to go shopping for some new shoes: high-heeled pumps, strappy sandals, backless clogs, you name it. But let’s make it clear, this new pair of woman’s shoes are for you — yes, guys, you.
On Friday March 27, Vera House will commence its 15th Annual White Ribbon Campaign with a walk that highlights the important role men play in ending domestic and sexual violence against women. The event, called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” is an international effort of which Vera House is modeling its kick off. All men are invited to walk in women’s shoes to draw attention to the campaign.
Another initiative during the 2009 campaign involves recruiting at least 12 men in the Syracuse community who are willing to enlist 11 more men to spread the message of the White Ribbon Campaign. The original 12 men will be asked to sign a personal pledge to never support, commit or remain silent about abuse.
“Ending domestic and sexual violence requires each of us to do our part to help change a community standard that has for too long tolerated violence and abuse,” said Executive Director Randi Bregman.
Last week, Vera House announced George Kilpatrick as honorary chair of this year’s drive. Kilpatrick is the director of community affairs at WCNY in Liverpool.
“I’m very honored to be able to use whatever influence I have through the media to raise awareness about the issues of domestic and sexual violence,” Kilpatrick said. “It’s critically important as men, to set [good] examples in our family and community.”
According to verahouse.org, in 2007/08, more than 18,000 domestic and 700 sex offense calls were made to the Syracuse Police Department. Law enforcement outside the city answered more than 9,000 domestic and 300 sex offense calls during the same years.
The annual campaign, which will be held from March 27 to April 5, is expected to raise more than $60,000 for Vera House education and awareness services and programs.
“The funds raised by the White Ribbon Campaign are critical for our programs and services, but even more important is the message of this campaign,” Bregman said.
Kilpatrick said he hopes the drive will also educate youth about healthy relationships, citing a recent altercation between celebrity couple Rihanna and R&B singer Chris Brown as an example. Brown is being investigated in a recent, alleged domestic violence felony battery incident.
Adding to the plight, Brown revealed in a 2007 interview with Giant Magazine that his stepfather physically abused his mother.
“We have to model healthy relationships,” said Kilpatrick, stressing the cycle of violence within families need to end. “It’s so critical to educate young men and women the importance of healthy relationships.”
Domestic and sexual violence statistics 2007/08
Syracuse Police Department
Answered: 10,398 domestic calls (2007); approximately 7,903 through September 2008
Answered: 387 sex offense calls (2007); approximately 312 through September 2008
Law enforcement outside the city
Answered: 5, 150 domestic calls (2007), approximately 3,886 through September 2008
Answered: 214 sex offense calls (2007); approximately 136 through September 2008
For more statistics, go to verahouse.org/coalition/07rtcjustice.htm.