Walk a Mile in Her Shoes protests sexual assault in college communities
Soller, president of the student group Men Organized for Rape Education (M.O.R.E.), led a group of about twenty students around Mudd Field, through Whispers Café and the Mallinckrodt Center and back to the DUC on Tuesday during the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.
M.O.R.E. sponsored the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event as a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, in order to provide education about the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses.
“We really try to focus on assault as an issue to be dealt with as a community,” Soller said. “It’s something that should be a campus issue and should be talked about. Everyone should be aware of its effect on their friends, because everyone on campus knows someone who has been assaulted.”
Participants, both men and women, strode across campus sporting women’s heels. The event is an effort by M.O.R.E. to make sexual assault awareness an ongoing aspect of the college experience.
“All freshmen do ‘The Date,’ but that’s a very short program,” Soller said. “Our feeling is that what would help this campus the most is having continued education and having a continual awareness of sexual assault as a community issue. So we’re developing a lot of programs around that. We’re trying to get as many people trained and aware and into the mind-set of the active bystander.”M.O.R.E. aims to be a voice for all victims of sexual assault. According to Soller, one in four women is assaulted during her college career. Additionally, one in six men is assaulted. Most of these men, according to Soller, are assaulted before the age of 18, “but a significant percentage are still assaulted in college.”
Junior Adam Segal was so enthusiastic about the event that he wore a dress to match his pumps.
“My friends were organizing the event but I wasn’t aware that assault was so common,” Segal said. “It gets swept under the rug a lot. I think events like this, combined and over time, these events will hopefully get people aware of the issue.”
Segal described his choice to wear the dress as embracing the full experience.
“On the surface, it’s kind of funny, since it’s a guy in a dress. But I guess when I consider it a bit more, there’s a more pressing question, and that’s why it’s funny if a man wears a dress. Why is it strange when men wear heels? Why do we expect women to, if not men?”The Committee Organized for Rape Education (C.O.R.E.) co-sponsored the event with M.O.R.E. Dana Zhao, treasurer for C.O.R.E., expressed optimism about Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and future events facilitated by both groups.
“I would think [our events] have opened up the conversation on sexual assault. We’ve only had two of our five events this month so it’s still pretty early, but we’ve had a pretty good showing for these two events,” Zhao said. “Our campus has a community that can really do something about sexual assault prevention.”