Important purpose behind “Walk a Mile”

Jessie Hellmann

Every year, hundreds of men (and a few women) from the USI and Evansville community strap on high-heeled shoes for the event “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” – a walk to raise awareness of rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

Easily one of my favorite campus events, it is sponsored by USI’s Sexual Assault and Gender Violence Prevention Group and Albion Fellows Bacon Center.

However, these issues aren’t  something we should think about one day a year. It’s an issue we need to be constantly aware of, especially on a college campus.

While I know some groups only participate in the event because they have to (let’s be real), I hope they really take the time to reflect on the reason a walk like this exists.

The Campus Sexual Assault Study found that 13.7 percent of undergraduate women had experienced at least one sexual assault since entering college. 4.7 percent were victims of physically forced sexual assault, 7.8 percent of women were sexually assaulted when they were incapacitated after consuming drugs, alcohol or both and 0.6  percent were sexually assaulted after consuming a drug without their knowledge.

Events like this exist not only to raise awareness of these sobering facts, but to show support to those in our community who have experienced these horrific acts and also to remind survivors that there are people to talk to.

So maybe you attended this event because your chapter president made you, your teacher offered you extra credit or because it makes your public office look good – but I hope you walk away with the knowledge that unfortunately, rape, gender violence and sexual assault occur every day in our world.

If you need someone to talk to, please call the USI Counseling Center at 812-464-1867 or the Albion Fellows Bacon Center at 812-422-5622.