There is an old saying that you can’t truly understand another person’s experience until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Our signature annual event, WALK a MILE in Their HER His Our SHOES ®, is designed for men to lead the way in taking a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault. The idea is that when men wear high- heeled shoes and walk a mile in those shoes, they have the opportunity to reflect and get some perspective on what women experience.
Of course, women wear all types of shoes — and high- heeled shoes aren’t just for people who identify as women. Over the years, Blackburn Center has expanded the Walk a Mile concept to embrace different life experiences while raising awareness about gender-based violence in our community.
Gender-based violence is a broad term that encompasses physical and emotional abuse, assault, and harassment that is based on a person’s gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. It may include:
Intimate partner violence
Some types of bullying
Gender-based violence is pervasive in Westmoreland County and throughout the United States. The statistics are startling. They also demonstrate the extent of the problem is in our country:
1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped.
1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year.
55% of female homicide victims were killed by a current or former intimate partner.
These numbers may seem overwhelming. They may even make you wonder what you can do to help. Our answer? Start small.
We can all do little things — like calling out rape “jokes” — that make a big difference. Another way that you can help is by participating in events like WALK a MILE in Their HER His Our SHOES®.
At this event, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about gender-based violence and the ways that we can ALL play a part in ending it. You will also get a chance to take the pledge to end gender-based violence. Perhaps most importantly, participating in the Walk helps to raise awareness about gender-based violence in our community.
Starting at St. Clair Park, we literally stop traffic as we walk through downtown Greensburg. Whether you’re in high heels, boots, sneakers, or any other type of shoe, the site of hundreds of people walking together while holding signs and banners lets others know that we take this issue seriously — and that we are committed to ending it.
The Walk will take place on April 23, 2022. Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the Walk itself will begin at 10 a.m. We’ll have plenty of goodies and opportunities to learn at the Walk. It’s also a great time to catch up with friends and feel good about doing something for our community. Registration is just $5 (kids 12 and under are free!).
You can learn more about the Walk and register online here. You can also register on the day of the Walk. We can’t wait to see you!