Cornwall Standard Freeholder
05 April 2011
By MELISSA DI COSTANZO
CORNWALL — In an effort to further involve men in bringing awareness to violence against women, Sexual Assault Support Service for Women of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and Akwesasne is inviting men to walk a mile in a woman’s shoes. Literally.
On Sunday, May 15, at noon, men will be stepping into high heels in order to participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence, which will be held in support of SASS.
“It’s never been done before in Cornwall,” explains Lisa Montroy, special events co-ordinator with SASS.
“It’s been done in other communities, in the United States and in Canada,” communities such as Toronto, Edmonton and Halifax.
“There’s sort of a new paradigm shift about the fight in violence against women, that men should be involved and want to be involved,” says Montroy. “In the past, it’s been a women’s issue, and a women’s cause.”
Montroy says SASS used to hold Take Back the Night, an internationally held march and rally intended to protest and direct action against rape and sexual violence.
Want to tell us what you think. Then send a letter to the editor or post a comment on this article on our website: “But we got a lot of criticism from the community because we didn’t involve men,” explains Montroy. “We were really conscious of the fact there were men out there who really wanted to support it and didn’t have an opportunity. There really wasn’t any other event men could take part in.”
So when Montroy heard about the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event, she thought this idea was “brilliant.”
“This is really a chance for men to step up and say we want to be a part of the solution,” she says. “We wanted to speak to the criticism that men aren’t involved.”
Montroy says SASS will be partnering with Kinsmen Club of Cornwall for the event.
“They’re absolutely on board,” she says. “They’re giving us money to buy all of the shoes.”
Shoes for the walk will be provided. Montroy estimates the actual walk will be less than a kilometre.
Currently, Montroy says about eight men are registered, but hopes 40 will sign up for the walk.
“We’ll have a couple of police officers come out in full uniform,” she says. “It’s not a drag show. Men will be wearing regular clothes. We don’t want any group of people to feel demeaned by this.”
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will begin at around noon at the Lamoureux Park clock tower on Water Street. A barbecue will also be held to raise funds for SASS. The entire event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We plan to make this an annual event,” says Montroy. “This could be a really large community event. It’s a good, fun, positive experience and event. And, it’s a lot of fun.”
Men may register for this event as individuals, or as part of the team. Pledge forms are available, and participants are encouraged to set personal fundraising goals.
There will be prizes awarded. To participate, call 613-932-1755 ext. 21, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.