ALAV members were proud to participate in the recent awareness-raising event, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: A Walk for Wellness,” benefiting the Forensic Services Unit. The men who participate are sponsored and walk a mile in red high-heeled shoes. The event, in its second year, was very successful and has grown significantly. In its first year they had 10 walkers; this year they had 50.

Frank Baird first proposed Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®:  The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence to Valley Trauma Center (VTC) in 2001. Women had created a successful rape crisis movement and Frank was grateful to have been able to join their efforts. He had worked with VTC since 1993 and wanted to increase the opportunities for men to contribute to efforts to end sexualized violence.

“Violence against women does not just affect women,” Baird said.  “Men are hurt and angered when women they care about are raped.  Men are hurt and angered when they try to develop relationships with women in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust and blame.  And the same violence that targets women also targets men because rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power, control and violence.”