Men in red heels may be strutting about the cafeteria on Wednesday, April 14. Now don’t worry, NW does not encourage cross-dressing. But for one day in April—the Sexual Assault Awareness Month—several NW men will be donning red heels as part of a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” awareness event. These men will be stationed in the cafeteria and equipped with information.
This event, with roots in Yankton, S.D., took place at the Four Brothers Bar and Grill Restaurant in LeMars last year and was very successful. When senior social work interns Brittney Punt and Debbie Warren heard about the event through their work at domestic violence shelters in Northwest Iowa, they started imagining a similar event at NW.
“It’s easy to believe it happens everywhere else but where we are,” Punt said. “However, violence does occur in rural communities and in small towns.” She also said that some relationships on campus that are “viewed as normal” may be unhealthy or worthy of concern.
One issue Punt and Warren have had is recruiting men who are willing to wear red heels.
“As long as we get excited ourselves, I think we can reel in some pretty awesome guys who aren’t ashamed to wear heels to help support victims of sexual assault,” Warren said.
Punt said the humor raised with this event is a vital part of grabbing attention, and laughter in this context is not offensive.
“It’s silence, ignorance, and pride in light of a serious issue that’s offensive,” Punt said.
All those interested in participating—women included—are encouraged to come to the Red Room in the Franken Center for a come-and-go ten minute meeting on Tuesday, April 6, or Thursday, April 8, from 7-8 p.m.