Men invited to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes on May 2

The Center for Family Justice invites the community to participate in the third annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on Saturday, May 2, rain or shine.

The walk is for everyone — men, women and children — heels are not required.

It’s where men and boys take the first step to end violence against women and girls. This event is sponsored by The Center for Family Justice’s White Ribbon Campaign and the Fairfield Police Department.

Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. in downtown Fairfield. For more information and to register for the walk, go to the Center’s website at centerforfamilyjustice.org.

For more information about the international movement, go to walkamileinhershoes.org.

Break the cycle

The Center for Family Justice is dedicated to breaking the cycle of abuse and violence by providing services that create hope, restore lives and drive social change through education and community collaboration. The Center provides a 24-hour crisis hotline, crisis counseling, community advocacy, emergency shelter, transitional housing, court advocacy, support groups, prevention education and community outreach.

The White Ribbon Campaign started at The Center for Family Justice in 2008 to engage men and boys as allies in the community about the prevention of domestic and sexual violence.

The White Ribbon Campaign is a network of men working to end violence against women that started in Canada in the early 1990s. In 1991, a handful of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out about violence against women after the Montréal Massacre of Dec. 6, 1989. On that day, 14 female students at the École Polytechnique were killed, and 13 other students wounded by a man motivated by his hatred for women and feminists.

The main goal of the White Ribbon Campaign is ending violence against women and girls in all its forms. It accomplishes its goal in the following ways:

Challenging everyone to speak out, and think about their own beliefs, language and actions that contribute to domestic and sexual violence.

• Raising public awareness of the issue.

• Working in partnership with the community to create a future with no violence against women and girls.

• Supporting White Ribbon Campaigns around the world.

The White Ribbon Pledge: “I pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls.”

Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.

Each year, an increasing number of men, women and their families are joining the award-winning Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. The event is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediation to men’s violence against women.

There is an old saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Walk a Mile in Her Shoes asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. It’s not easy walking in these shoes, but its fun and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about: Gender relations and men’s sexual violence against women.

It’s critical to open communication about sexualized violence. While hidden away, sexualized violence is immune to cure. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get people talking. People unfamiliar with men’s sexualized violence against women don’t even want to know it exists. It’s ugly.

People who have experienced sexualized violence themselves want to forget about it. How do you get people talking now, so they can prevent it from happening? And if it’s already happened, how do you help them get help to recover?

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