There’s an old saying: “You can’t really understand a person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”
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Last year, on a bright sunny Saturday in May, seven El Dorado County male community leaders were spotted walking a mile in four-inch red high heels down Placerville’s Main Street.
This elite group of men walked to show their support for the Center for Violence-free Relationships by raising awareness and funds to fight back against sexual assault in the community.
One in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and because 44 percent of all sexual assault victims are children, these men took a stand.
This year, the Center for Violence-free Relationships will hold its 12th annual Community March to End Sexual Assault on Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. starting at 549 Main St. in Placerville .
The theme of the March this year is “Take the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Challenge.”
Men are being asked men to walk a full mile in women’s high-heeled shoes to raise awareness about sexual assault in our community and beyond.
Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S. and unfortunately, sexual assault is a gender based crime where women are the most likely the victims. Too often the victims are blamed for the assault based on what they were wearing at the time, such as high heels or short skirts.
Sexual assault happens in El Dorado County. Last year the Center for Violence-free Relationships served 208 people affected by sexual assault.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office recently released the crime statistics for El Dorado County. Rape increased 86 percent from 2012 to 2013 with 14 reported rapes in 2012 and 26 reported rapes in 2013. So far in 2014, there have been 17 sexual assault related arrests in El Dorado County.
This year the center has some high-profile men from the community who will strut their stuff in red high heels.
District Attorney Vern Pierson will be donning his four-inch red heels, along with District IV Supervisor Ron Briggs, District III Supervisor Brian Veerkamp and Auditor/Controller Joe Harn.
Joining them will be senior vice president and director of sales at Boundless, Ken Bossung; Sacramento attorney Paul Zappettini and Breaker Glass owner/El Dorado Union High School District board member Kevin Brown.
CHP Lt. Commander Craig Root, CHP Public Information Officer Quinn Cuthbertson and CHP Officer Frank Rodriguez will be representing law enforcement and walking with the El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools, Jeremy Meyer; the El Dorado Community Foundation executive director, William Roby and center board members John Moalli and Matt Boyer.
The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Challenge is great for individuals of all ages who want to participate in a beautiful walk and post-walk success party featuring the Placerville Rotarians cooking up some yummy hot dogs for all walkers. The event is free and open to the public. Families are encouraged to attend together.
Everyone is invited to come out and cheer or join these brave men.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. at the Placerville Town Hall, 549 Main St. in Placerville, on Saturday, April 26.
Please call 530-626-1450 or 916-939-4464 or visit the center’s Website at TheCenterNow.org to participate, donate and support sexual assault awareness in El Dorado County.
The Center for Violence-free Relationships is dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual assault and domestic violence through education, advocacy and services in western El Dorado County.