It’s possible that everyone reading this knows a woman who's been the victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
As she prepared for the fifth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event to raise awareness of the issue, Family Crisis Center Director Laura Patzner dug up some sobering statistics.
Nearly one in five women and one in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime. In Kansas, one rape is reported to law enforcement every eight hours, 12 minutes and 36 seconds. Rape is one of the top 10 most prevalent person crimes in Kansas. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. One in five female high school students reports being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
“That means someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual or domestic violence. It may be your friend, your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife or your daughter,” Patzner said.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a fun event — part block party and part fundraiser, with men racing on Main Street in red high heels. Like other successful awareness/fundraising events, it’s continued to grow.
According to the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes website, events such as this are important because they open up communication about sexual and domestic violence: “While hidden away, it’s immune to a cure. ... For preventive education, it helps men better understand and appreciate women’s experiences, thus changing perspectives, helping improve gender relationships and decreasing the potential for violence. For healing, it informs the community that services are available for recovery. It demonstrates that men are willing and able to be courageous partners with women in making the world a safer place.”
Not a bad day’s work for a bunch of guys in heels.