Saturday, the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) hosted their annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a men’s walk against sexual assault, in Beaverton City Park. SARC provided a shoe table full of donated women's shoes and men wore them in a one-mile walk to raise awareness of sexual assault in the community.
This year's Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was impacting, to say the least. Men stood tall as they struggled in their heels, proudly holding signs that shouted, “MEN MUST BE PART OF THE SOLUTION,” and, “CONSENT IS SEXY.” They were spotted in everything from Dorothy shoes to cowboy boots, cork wedges to stilettos, and even some marabou feathered kitten heels made their way onto a pair of man feet. One of SARC's male advocates set the bar high for his fellow gentlemen, arriving in a fully tailored suit, with stylish slides to complete the ensemble. Equally notable, was an entire professional jiu jitsu team who sported their full jiu jitsu attire and matching patent leather red pumps tall enough to make Anna Wintour turn green. Sprinkled among the stylish heels, awareness signs, and SARC t-shirts, were fresh Voo Doo Doughnuts, face painting, raffle prizes, and even a team of storm troopers who came out to support the cause.
To signal the beginning of the walk, a loud siren whirred at the starting line. Wives walked next to their husbands. Men held the hands of their daughters. Boys boldly strutted their mother’s high heels, fully aware of what they represented. Honks of support rang through the streets surrounding Beaverton City Park, and people walking by whistled in appreciation. While it was perhaps the slowest (to accommodate heel height), most unsteady, and uncomfortable walk, compared to the usual charity walks Portlanders are used to, it was also incredibly moving in all that these shoes represented.
The high heels seen at Beaverton City Park on Saturday made a bolder statement than the sole of a Louboutin, and that is quite a feat. Overall, these designer shoes, or rather the outstanding men (and women) inside them, raised a total of $12,103 for SARC's fight against sexual assault. SARC's mission: “To promote social justice by eliminating sexual violence in our community through education, support and advocacy.” And they are now one mile closer to victory.