Students raise money one step at a time at 'Heels for Her'
Outfitted in six-inch, hot pink high heels, Wolverine resident William Lownsberry carefully paced the Finch Fieldhouse floor Wednesday in his 39th walk to support advocacy for victims of sexual aggression.
"I've dealt with domestic violence quite a bit in my family," he said. "It means a lot to me to give my support to this issue."
Heels for Her is a walk put on by Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, Central Michigan University's 24-hour sexual aggression hotline. For its fifth year, the walk featured about 70 participants, 55 of which were men walking in bright red high heels to raise awareness and money for sexual assault victims.
The walk raised $223, which will go back to SAPA so they can continue providing support to students and the community.
"One in four women will be a survivor of sexual aggression," said Burton senior and SAPA member Amanda Revenaugh. "Heels for Her puts the saying, 'You don't know how someone feels unless you walk in their shoes' into effect. It helps men understand what women go through so they can provide support for them."
Men wearing the red high heels SAPA provided, which were specially made for drag queens, offered a small glimpse of what it's like to be a woman walking on the street with everyone staring at them.
"It's definitely not sturdy, but it's very interesting – it's a new perspective," said Zachary Smith, a South Lyon sophomore. "I'm doing it because I'm all about bringing equality. People should feel safe wherever they are."
Director of Central Aggression Services Steve Thompson said the purpose of men wearing high heels is to attract people's attention, since it's something that's not seen very often.
"Things like this really help to raise awareness," Thompson said. "If you get guys walking in high heels, you get people talking about the issue."