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Pumps and Stilettos Against Gender Violence

April 13, 2007

Visitors to downtown Keene on Saturday may see something shocking. The Monadnock Men’s Resource Center is joining with Keene State College and several other groups for a march against sexual violence called "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes." The shocking part? Many men in the march are expected to sport women's footwear as a sign of solidarity. Resource center co-chair Forest Seymour says the men will don the ladies shoes to help them understand the challenges women face…

"When I ask groups of women, 'Tell me about what you do every day to protect yourself against rape or sexual assault, they'll give me a laundry list.’ You ask men the same question and rarely can they think of anything."

Saturday's march in Keene is part of the state's observance of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in New Hampshire. According to Seymour, the shoes will remind the marchers of the impact of gender violence in women's lives…

"This is just a sort of symbolic way for men to try to squeeze themselves into what that feels like, and also our feet will hurt a little bit so maybe that will help us be empathetic."

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NH