A group of UNC Pembroke men “Walked a Mile in Her Shoes” on October 6 to raise money and awareness about rape and sexual assault and gender violence.
At the start, participants with Chancellor Carter who is second from the left
The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, sponsored by UNCP’s Housing and Residence Life, raised $1,140 for the Rape Crisis Center of Robeson County. It raised awareness about an important life issue and a few blisters too.
One of those men who were sporting red high-heels was Chancellor Kyle R. Carter.
“I was pleased to see a good turnout and to be part of an event to raise awareness of this issue,” Chancellor Carter said. “The issue of rape and sexual violence is an important one for this group of adults.”
Indeed, as Dr. Carter pointed out, a college woman’s chances of being victimized during her life are greater than the odds for all women, said Cynthia Redfearn, associate housing director.
“Events like this help men to understand women’s experience,” Redfearn said. “It says men are willing to be partners to make our campus a safer place.”
Chancellor Carter, who raised $241 in sponsorships, said he would select shoe sizes more carefully next year. His partner, wife Sarah, had encouraged him to participate.
Chancellor Carter and his wife, Sarah, walking a mile
“Absolutely, I support this cause,” Sarah Carter said. “Although we can never really walk a mile in a victim’s shoes, this is a good way to get people talking about an important issue, and it’s a good thing for our campus to do.”
Margaret Crites, director of the local Rape Crisis Center, said her organization handled 351 cases last year.
“Rape is a problem for women and an issue for men,” Crites said. “Our goal as an organization is to go out of business, and the only way to do that is to promote education and prevention programs like this.”
At least 30 women were there to support 15 participants and all had cameras ready for the start. At the end, Danny Williams, a student from Kenly, N.C., was weary but happy to have raised $92 in sponsorships.
“I was sponsored by North Hall (a women’s residence hall),” Williams said. “It was great fun, but next year, I’ll just donate. My feet are a little sore right now.”
The event closed with balloons floating into the air honoring rape victims and signifying their commitment to be proactive is solving the problem.