Walk sheds light on violence against women

ORACLE PHOTO / ROBERTO ROLDAN

The annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, in which male students march in front of the Marshall Student Center (MSC) wearing women’s high heels, will be held in the MSC Amphitheater today at 11:30.

The event brings together men and women from the community to show support for ending violence against women, such as domestic violence and sexual assault.

The event, sponsored by the student organization N.I.T.E., as well as the USF Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention, will feature guest speakers Melissa Dohme and Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi.

Dohme is a local survivor of domestic violence and will speak to students about her story of overcoming circumstances and finding forgiveness for her abuser.

“We like to think she’s the ‘bring it home piece,’” said Eileen Dabrowski, the coordinator of the march. “People like to think domestic violence is something that happens faraway. She’s going to talk about her story, but more how the event positively changed her life.”

Ordorizzi will lead the men who attend the event in taking the Relationship, Equality, Antiviolence League (REAL) Men’s Promise, a commitment to stand up against violence against women and the culture that supports it.

The event is in it’s seventh year, and Dabrowski said she is excited Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has become a yearly tradition at the university.

Dabrowski also said she wants participants and observers to take away the message that their fellow students really do care about the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I think it’s easy for people who have been victimized to think that all men are bad or all people are bad after something traumatic has happened,” Dabrowski said. “This event is really about flipping that and showing people that there really are a lot of great people here at USF that do care about this issue and that want to work together to end it.” 

A limited number of shoes will be loaned out to men who wish to participate in the walk, but men and women are encouraged to bring shoes for the event.

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