YWCA of Silicon Valley

Men "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" to Stop Rape


San Jose, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/26/2010 -- On April 21, 2010 men from all walks of life will walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes through Downtown San Jose to protest rape, sexual assault & gender violence. This 8th annual event, held each April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, brings together male community leaders, businessmen, and area residents to walk (in women’s shoes) from Plaza de Cesar Chavez through the streets of downtown – less than a mile – to call awareness to the problem of sexual assault in our community. It is a light-hearted way to approach a very serious issue that is the responsibility of us all. The YWCA of Silicon Valley organizes the event and provides the women’s shoes. Women are encouraged to join the walk as supporters and advocates, as well. For further information about the event, contact Kelly Ramirez at walkamile@ywca-sv.org or contact the YWCA at (408) 295-4011 x217.

WHO: Male community members and leaders will proclaim their solidarity with the rape prevention movement by marching in high heels, with women and children marching at their side. Educators, students, law enforcement officers, elected and appointed officials, and others are expected to participate.

WHEN: The march is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm with registration starting at 4:00pm at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose.. Men, women, and children are invited to participate and walk-on registrants are welcome. Men are encouraged (but not required) to walk in women’s shoes and participants are being asked to obtain $100 in sponsorship. High heels in all sizes will be available to those who don’t have their own.

HOW: Register online at http://www.ywca-sv.org

“One in three women has experienced gender violence in her lifetime. A woman is raped every 90 seconds in America,” said Keri McLain, CEO of the YWCA. “That means someone you know, someone you care about has been the victim of sexual violence. This violence does not just affect women. 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.” Inspired by the old saying, “You can’t understand a person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” men will literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes.

Funds generated through the 8th Annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes event support the programs and services of the YWCA of Silicon Valley. The mission of the YWCA is to empower women, children and their families, and to eliminate racism, hatred and prejudice. The YWCA of Silicon Valley serves nearly 24,000 Santa Clara County residents each year, and has provided services in Santa Clara County for more than 100 years. The YWCA provides programs in the areas of sexual assault intervention and prevention, counseling services, child care, youth programs, family services, and social and racial justice. The YWCA of Silicon Valley is located at 375 S. 3rd Street, San Jose, CA 95112. For more information about the YWCA of Silicon Valley, contact (408) 295-4011 or visit http://www.ywca-sv.org.