By Zara Hurtado
A group of male students, some teetering on heels and others holding homemade signs, excitedly gathered at University Park on Oct. 24 for the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, held by Men Against Violence, is an internationally recognized event with a strong social following since its foundation in 2001.
The event’s main goal is to raise awareness about sexualized violence against women as well as to encourage a dialogue about what men can do to stop the violence as allies.
The month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month, making this a perfect opportunity to host the event.
Zane Landin, a second-year science, technology and society student, recently took on the role of MAV president.
Although new to the club, Landin immediately jumped into the role citing the importance of organizations like MAV.
“It’s important for a college campus to raise awareness because there are instances of domestic violence on campuses,” said Landin. “If nothing is done now on a college [campus], then in the future it’s not going to change. It starts K-12 because that’s when student’s minds are shaped, but in college, you learn what’s wrong and what’s right.”
The event was held in a lighthearted way, which made it accessible for students who may be unaware of these issues.
“The whole point is that it’s a funny event because you know, guys in heels, but the message isn’t funny,” said Landin. “It’s an issue, but [the walk] is a perfect place to not think too hard about it and just support it.
According to a study conducted by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 23 percent of female undergraduate students and 5 percent of male students are victims of sexual violence through “physical force, violence or incapacitation.”
These high numbers illustrate the urgency of creating an on-campus culture that prevents further violence and assault from taking place.
“Many people say, ‘rape culture doesn’t exist,’ but it is all around us, in our music, our advertisements and our clothing,” said Survivor Advocacy Series Peer Educator Lorenzo Alvarado. “Call someone out for their sexist joke or catcall. If you annoy your friend about something enough, they’ll stop doing it in front of you and that might make them think about what they are saying.”
MAV, SAS and the Women’s Resource Center collaborated together on this event to educate students on the various forms of violence that affect both men and women, including stalking, sexual assault, rape and domestic abuse.
Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Lea M. Jarnagin and Title IX officers came out to the event to show their support along with members from Greek life, including Latino fraternity Lambda Theta Phi and Alpha Phi Omega sorority.
The club upholds their mission through various events and workshops that are planned year around.
Upcoming events include a winter conference, sexual assault awareness programming in April, general meetings and volunteer work with House of Ruth, a center to provide resources to victims of domestic violence.
Students interested in getting involved with MAV can attend the next general meeting, which will be held during U-Hour on Nov. 2 in Building 6, room 113.
Tevin Voong / The Poly Post
Members of Greek fraternities, campus clubs and the campus community participated in the walk
Tevin Voong / The Poly Post
The month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month
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