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Brockport takes a stand against domestic violence

by Margaret Stewart | copy editor
Tue, Oct 2nd 2018 02:00 pm

An event that helps young people take a stand against domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” was held at The College at Brockport on Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. 

Held in October as a part of Domestic Violence Awareness month, this event is based upon “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” which is an international women’s march. 

In order to be more inclusive, The Center for Select Respect changed the name to “Their” shoes instead of “Her” shoes in an attempt to bring awareness to the fact that gender violence, sexual assault and rape victims can be of any gender, not just women. 

Additionally, the theme for this year’s walk is “Red Heels Heal” to promote gender equality. In another attempt to increase inclusivity, the center is offering more than just the traditional red high heels that are worn through the march and adding some more diverse shoes such as: crocs, work boots and sneakers.

The march began at the campus mall and participants had the option to walk as far as they would like, not necessarily needing to complete the entire mile.

“The purpose of this event is to raise awareness and start conversations about the prevalence of rape, sexual assault, and gender violence,” Hannah Smith said, a graduate assistant in the center. 

According to rainn.org, “11.2 percent of all students, undergraduate and graduate, experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation.” 

In fact, while the statistic for women being sexually assaulted is one in four amongst women ages 18 – 24, this number is three times as high for women in college. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of women in the same category will report that the assault occurred to a law enforcement officer.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) also reports that, “more than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October or November.” When translated to the current semester, roughly half of that 50 percent could have taken place. This is why places like the Center For Select Respect are integral to campus life. 

“Programs and strategies designed by Prevention and Outreach Services and the Center For Select Respect foster a “culture of respect” for ourselves, others and our greater Brockport community,” it posted on its official site on Brockport.edu. “A ‘culture of respect’ contributes to a safe learning and living environment that promotes personal development, healthy interpersonal relationships, accountability and community engagement.” 

There were other activities that students, faculty and staff can participate in if they don’t want to take part in the walk. One of these events is Red Heel or Red Flag, where participants are read hypothetical scenarios and have to decide whether it is safe (red heel) or not (red flag) to continue. 

Additionally, this year the Brockport Student Government (BSG) offered a waffle bar while the walk occured in hopes of attracting more students.

“It is a good opportunity to share experience and see something from a different perspective,” Taya Carrillo said. Carrillo is a Peer Educator at the Center For Select Respect. 

Should someone want to participate, but is unable to attend the event on campus, there is another event being hosted in the City of Rochester by Willow Domestic Violence Center. It’s 11th annual “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event will occur on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ontario Beach Park. According to it’s website, the theme “Got Sole?” was “inspired by a survivor who walked 11 miles in flip flops from [Willow’s] shelter to the beach to attend the walk.” 

These walks, and similar events like them, are “soft introductions to heavy topics like sexual assault, domestic violence and rape,” Smith said. 

They are conversation starters and ways to raise more awareness for a prevalent problem within not only American culture, but international cultures as well.


mstew7@brockport.edu | @margotpolo96

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