The Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital will host the 11th annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 21, at Riverfront Park in Troy.
Held in observance of April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is a community walk against rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.
To show their support, community members – particularly men – are challenged to literally walk one mile through downtown Troy in high-heeled shoes. Participants will start at Riverfront Park and walk down River Street, turn onto Congress Street, then turn north on 3rd Street and return to the park.
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” takes its name from the old adage that you can’t understand another person’s experience until you have walked a mile in their shoes. While providing an opportunity to do this in a fun, positive setting, the event also starts difficult yet necessary conversations about gender relations and sexual violence against women and men.
“Now is a critical time to be discussing these issues with our families, friends, and communities,” said Lindsey Crusan-Muse, director of the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital. “As we have seen in the past year, there are many survivors of sexual assault in our lives, all of whom deserve support. ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ is an opportunity to start a dialogue about this difficult topic, and show survivors ‘we believe you, and we are here for you.’ This is also a time for us to all stand together to prevent these crimes, and show that we will not tolerate these crimes in our community.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 19.3 percent of women in the United States – nearly one in five women – have been raped during their lifetime, and an estimated 43.9 percent of American women and 23.4 percent of men have been victims of sexual violence other than rape during their lifetime.
More than 500 people turn out every year for “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” in Troy. Proceeds from the event benefit direct services to victims, such as counseling, legal advocacy, and education and outreach efforts.
Registration is $20 per person, which includes a T-shirt, food, and more. A prize will be awarded to the Top Team Fundraiser.
Click here for further registration details. For more information, please call the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital at 518-271-3639.
About “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” was created in 2001 by Frank Baird, a marriage and family therapist in California. What started out as a small group of men daring to totter around a park has grown to become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs. In 2007, Baird formed the nonprofit organization Venture Humanity to help unite communities and raise money for local rape crisis centers.
About The Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital
The Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital is the only agency in Rensselaer County to provide specialized services, including education, prevention and crisis care 24 hours a day, seven days a week to sexual assault survivors and crime victims, and their families and friends. All services are free and confidential. The program also offers a 24-hour hotline for individuals in need, 518-271-3257. Samaritan Hospital is an affiliate of St. Peter’s Health Partners.