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Men march against domestic violence

Students and staff marched in the Walk a Mile in her shoes fundraiser.
Summer Hall / Mainstream
Students and staff marched in the Walk a Mile in her shoes fundraiser.

The sounds of dragging heels echoed down Jackson Street April 25 as Douglas County men protesting domestic violence plodded down the pavement in women’s shoes.

The annual “Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser drew over 100 walkers with a crowd of over 200, double the size of last year, according to a representative from Battered Person’s Advocacy who sponsored the event.

At the courthouse prior to the walk, Battered Person’s Advocacy shared national statistics of sexual assault.

“Once every two minutes someone has been sexually assaulted,  and 70 percent of the time, it was by someone the victim knew,” the representative reported.

Money raised from the event will go to victims for counseling and restarting their lives.

This year, rainstorms cleared up just long enough for men to walk their mile under partly cloudy skies. This event is the pinnacle of Sexual Awareness Month activities in Douglas County.  UCC was represented by a handful of faculty, staff and students including the self titled “Bros be Trippin’” group consisting of a variety of UCC men. 

“I walk for my mom because she was a victim of domestic violence. It’s a good cause. Men need to be a part of the solution,” Michael Lewis, sociology student and a member of the “Bros be Trippin’” group said.

Writing instructor Tafea Polamalu
Summer Hall / Mainstream
Writing instructor, Tafea Polamalu

Writing instructor Tafea Polamalu, a “Mile in Her Shoes” veteran, donned bright red high heels for his daughters. “I wanted to show support as an ally, to raise awareness for a good cause and to show my daughters I stand for feminism,” he said.

President Joe Olson also strutted down during the mile in a pair of light pink flowered flip flops.  Many politicians, firefighters, police officers and local businesses supported the walk.

Marketing student Joel Wyatt strutted down the street with his Dutch Bros coworkers. “Domestic violence is messed up. The walk is for a very good cause,” Wyatt said.  

As part of the kick off festivities, UCC alumni and recently crowned Miss Douglas County Kayla Gordon offered participants suggestions on how to walk in high heels.

“Think Marilyn Monroe, not Marilyn Manson,” Gordon said.

As the walk started, the struggle was apparent for some of the participants.

“My toes are squished up in my shoes. My feet are going to be sore,” Luke Stephens, engineering student said.

The pressure was too much for several participants who stopped at a local brewery off Jackson for a quick drink mid-route.

Before the participants went home to soak their feet, an after party was held at Brix.