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The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men don heels to boost sex assault awareness

    Ari Lerner/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Ahmed Fakhouri, undecided sophomore, Matt Hall, mathematics sophomore and Alex Navas, music education freshman walk a mile on the UA mall yesterday wearing womens shoes. The annual walk is to raise awareness about violence against women.
    Ari Lerner/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Ahmed Fakhouri, undecided sophomore, Matt Hall, mathematics sophomore and Alex Navas, music education freshman walk a mile on the UA mall yesterday wearing women’s shoes. The annual walk is to raise awareness about violence against women.

    in her shoes

    UA men were asked to step up to the challenge of walking a mile in women’s shoes on the UA Mall yesterday for a sexual assault awareness event.

    Men were asked to put on high heels and other women’s shoes and walk one mile around the UA Mall for the second annual “”Put Yourself in Her Shoes”” event.

    “”It might not be comfortable, but it’s not comfortable to deal with sexual abuse either,”” said Matt Hall, a mathematics sophomore who walked in a pair of high-heeled sandals around the Mall.

    “”It’s a creative way to raise awareness,”” said Renee Skau, a psychology senior. “”Countless women and men are victims of sexual assault every day and the only way to stop it is to raise awareness.””

    Michelle Dorsey, a psychologist for the Oasis Program for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence, said the event was a good way to educate the community about the various kinds of sexual assault and relationship violence happening against men and women.

    “”It’s a metaphor for the plight that women go through and a fun way of putting the issue out there,”” Dorsey said.

    Katherine Outlaw, the event coordinator, said a recent sexual assault in a residence hall is just one example of sexual violence that affects the entire campus community.

    “”We’re challenging men to realize that women are abused and sexually assaulted,”” said Outlaw, hall director at Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall.

    Organizers are hoping men will gain awareness about violence against women and speak up when they see or hear about it happening.

    “”We want (men) to be able to speak up and challenge other men about how women are treated, talked to and talked about,”” Outlaw said.

    Russell Clark, a political science sophomore, said many UA women, including his girlfriend, don’t feel safe walking by themselves on the UA campus at night because of the risk of sexual assault.

    “”They’re not totally comfortable to walk by themselves, which is what they’re entitled to do,”” Clark said.

    Clark said he chose to participate in the event because his mother was once assaulted, and he believes educating young men about the issue is especially important for stopping sexual violence.

    Many men who walked in the high-heeled shoes said the experience was painful but worth the cause.

    “”It’s a little hurt for a lot of awareness,”” said Ahmad Fakhouri, an undeclared sophomore.

    Fakhouri wears men’s size 15 shoes, but wore women’s size 11 wedges for eight laps around the Mall between the cactus garden and Old Main.

    “”My feet are fine, but my calves are killing me,”” Fakhouri said.

    Saman Nematollahi, a physiology sophomore, almost fell while walking in a pair of gold wedge sandals.

    “”They’re definitely crunching my toes,”” Nematollahi said.

    The event was sponsored by Residence Life, elMundo Diversity Initiatives, the Committee on the Status of Women and the Oasis Program.

    Barbara Hoffman, chair of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UA and director for the Office of Student Computing Resources, said the Commission on the Status of Women sponsored a video of the event that will be shown on the UA Channel in May.

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