Gentlemen, it’s time to slip on a pair of high-heeled shoes and take a stance against sexualized violence. The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) will host a “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes®” event Wednesday (Oct. 11) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the university campus (located in southern Dallas at 7300 University Hills Blvd.). The public is invited to participate or attend the free event. Registration is not required.
Since 2001, men, women and families around the world have joined the award-winning “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence” to raise awareness about the serious causes, effects and remediations to men’s sexualized violence.
UNT Dallas is joining forces with community partners to host the event, which will involve men walking a mile around the campus (starting in front of the UNT Dallas Student Center) in high-heeled shoes provided by UNT Dallas Counseling & Wellness Center. Participants are encouraged to bring their own heels if preferred, which can be donated afterwards to Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, a local agency in Dallas dedicated to eradicating domestic violence and supporting survivors and their children.
UNT Dallas hosts the annual event in the fall in recognition of October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To help increase awareness, the university will offer an open Q & A session on domestic violence statistics and the dynamics of abuse, and provide university and community resources from partner organizations, including Hopes Door New Beginning, Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, The Family Place, UNT Dallas Office of University Community Standards and more. UNT Dallas expects dozens of students, faculty and staff, and local men to tackle the 5,280-foot challenge, including UNT Dallas President Bob Mong.
“With the prevalence of domestic violence in our communities and across our nation, it is more important than ever to become an active member in the eradication of family violence through awareness, intervention, support services and providing our students access to community resources,” said Teresa Espino, Director of the UNT Dallas Counseling & Wellness Center. “By participating in and bringing ‘Walk A Mile in Her Shoes’ to our campus, we are doing our part in this important and life-saving effort.”
She added that “UNT Dallas has lost students to family and domestic violence, and based on the current national statistics, there are many others suffering in silence. We must become involved in saving lives.”
Sexualized violence is any act of physical or psychological violence targeting sexuality or gender and used to undermine a person's sexual or gender integrity. Sexualized violence is a deadly virus lurking in everyday cultural beliefs, attitudes and practices, and, while hidden, is immune to prevention, treatment and cure.
Anyone can fall victim to sexualized violence regardless of gender identity. Sexualized violence devalues women, female practices, feminine ways of thinking, feeling and being, feminine energy and femme presentation. The target of sexualized violence can be a female body, the body of someone presenting as female or femme, or a male-bodied or male-presenting person insufficiently performing masculinity.
All men and women are invited to participate or attend and cheer on family, colleagues and friends. For more information about the organization, go to WalkAMileInHerShoes.org. If you have questions regarding the UNT Dallas event, please contact Teresa Espino at Teresa.Espino@untdallas.edu or 972-338-1816.
About UNT Dallas
The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) is one of the most diverse public universities in the metroplex, the only public, four-year university in the city of Dallas and the most affordable four-year university in Dallas-Fort Worth. UNT Dallas includes the UNT Dallas College of Law (accredited by the American Bar Association) in downtown Dallas and is part of the University of North Texas System. For more information, visit untdallas.edu.