Vera House kicks off annual campaign

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.

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