DUBOIS, Pa. — A group of Penn State DuBois men including students, faculty and staff, walked a full mile wearing high-heels on Sept. 25 for the annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event. The men's march is meant to help raise awareness of the battle against rape, sexual assault and gender violence. The event was organized by the victim-advocacy group Passages of Clarion, Clearfield and Jefferson Counties, in conjunction with the Penn State DuBois Office of Student Engagement.
The men, wearing high-heeled shoes, marched through campus, along route 255 in front of campus, as well as down Liberty Boulevard, then back. The entire loop was exactly one mile.
“We do this to raise awareness in our communities, of crimes such as sexual assault, because awareness is the first step to prevention,” said Alaina Shaffer, a prevention-education coordinator with Passages. “Getting students involved really shows the community that there is support.”
Colleen Lanzoni, campus counselor at Penn State DuBois, addressed the crowd, reminding them what they are up against in this battle.
She said, “Sexualized violence is epidemic. Here are some startling statistics: Every two minutes in America someone is raped. One in six American women are victims of sexual assault. Every 21 hours there is another rape on an American college campus. That means someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual violence.”
Statistics like the ones Lanzoni mentioned inspired some of the men who marched to try and make a difference. Student Duncan LaValle said, “It’s a good thing to get it out there. This is still a problem and whatever we can do to help raise awareness, we should do.”
Daulton Helo was among the students who helped to organize the march. He said he hoped events like this could accomplish a variety of goals.
“The intent of today’s march is to raise awareness in your community and on campus about the serious causes and effects of men’s sexualized violence against women, to get people talking about these issues, to show that men are willing and able to partner up with women to make the world a safer place, and to change the world; as working to eliminate gender violence makes the world a better place for all of us, women, men and children," said Helo.