May 05, 2012

"Walk a Mile in Her Shoes"

Men don heels for abuse awareness

By Megan StephensonSome feeling sore, a dozen men staggered to the Suquamish House of Awakened Culture with heads held high, having just walked more than half a mile in bright red, high-heeled pumps.

“I think women shouldn’t wear them,” joked Jon James, a member of the Suquamish Warriors veterans group. James was one of the many men who participated in the Suquamish Tribe’s first “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event April 30.

Domestic violence and sexual assault is a problem for women everywhere, but studies show Native American women suffer at some of the highest rates in the country. According to a University of Oklahoma study, nearly three out of five Native American women have been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners.

“It's a problem here, but one of those things people don’t talk about,” said Bennie Armstrong, another man who endured the heels. “Men on women, men on men, children, youth … If [we] can get men to buy in on this, its easier to talk about.”
Comment:  For more on violence against Native women, see Indians Sexualized Since the Beginning and Stolen Sisters CD Raises Awareness.

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