North Texas Daily

Men walk in heels to raise awareness about domestic violence

Men walk in heels to raise awareness about domestic violence

March 22
00:27 2013

Alex Byrd

Staff Writer

One in four women in the United States is victimized by domestic and sexual violence in their lifetime, and 81,280 men and women were raped in 2009 alone, according to the Census Bureau.

Women 20- to 24-years-old are at the greatest risk of nonfatal domestic and sexual violence. The international organization, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, will host an event at UNT in order to ignite awareness about violence against women from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

In order to, literally, take steps relating to crimes against women, the male population will walk a circular mile around campus to raise awareness while wearing heels. The University Program Council, UNT greek life, Denton County Friends of the Family and the UNT Residence Hall Association are hosting the first walk at UNT.

“We encourage our organizations to collaborate for good causes because we expect them to strive toward a certain level of excellence,” said Katy Miller, Greek Life assistant dean of students. “It isn’t just a female issue, it’s a societal problem.”

Since 1980, Denton County Friends of The Family has grown from $10,000 to more than $1.5 million in funding. Their mission is committed to offering compassionate and helpful services to victims of relationship violence and sexual assault to the community while promoting a world free of violence.

“We all want to pretend it doesn’t exist in our community, but we know it’s a reality,” Director of Clinical Services Nicole Holmes said. “Specifically in Denton, we have seen an increase in domestic violence deaths and victims seeking help.”

Friends of the Family helps more than 7,000 people annually with a 24-hour crisis line, shelter, group and individual counseling programs, community outreach, legal assistance and help with impacted children and adolescents.

“Domestic violence is something that we aren’t informed enough about,” social work sophomore Myia Burns said. “It really touches me when girls on campus will tell me that they have been waiting for an event like this to happen for awhile.”

Not only is domestic violence a problem among women, one in nine men will fall victim to physical or sexual injury as well.

“Every man that walks this weekend will make a pledge to never commit, always report, and prevent domestic violence,” Burns said.

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