A Change of Shoes, A Change of Life
Written by Dominique Houle on 09/05/12
As you may already know, May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about it.
Sexual assault includes rape or any other act carried out in a sexual context without the consent of at least one of the people involved, whether they are men, women or children (DEAL.org). For a long time, many thought that victims of sexual assault were not completely innocent, suspecting them of having asked for their situation by dressing in a “provocative” way (ex. short skirt), by their attitude, etc. However, even if the person seemed to be flirting or was walking alone on his or her way home, nobody chooses to become a victim of sexual assault and nothing should ever justify it – No Means No!
Even if you haven’t personally been affected by sexual assault, that doesn’t mean this issue shouldn’t concern you. Since 2001, the initiative Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has proven that. To raise awareness and prevent sexual assault, guys of all ages get together in their communities; take off their sneakers and boots to throw on a pair of high heels and walk (or wobble) for a whole mile (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)! By doing so, the participants literally put themselves in women’s shoes to tell victims and survivors of sexual assault that “they’re not to blame, it’s not their fault” and that they are not alone (Ottawa Sun).
Pretty inspiring activity, eh? In fact, I was so inspired that I managed to convince my co-worker Shawn to exchange shoes with me for a day at the office! As you can probably tell from the blog photo, he sure didn’t go unnoticed with those red stilettos and we never missed an opportunity to tell people what this was all about! As Shawn would say, “wearing heels is more painful than it looks”, it got others to think about how hard it must be to face a difficult situation like sexual assault. Although it was probably more amusing for me to see Shawn in heels then it was for him, at the end of the day, this initiative like many others, really show that we can all make a difference, “step by step”…