Lori Sherman and Doris Jouett enjoy “The Red Shoe,” before the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” window display at Confectionately Yours on Cypress Street in Altus.
Men of Altus are invited to walk one mile wearing red high heels this Saturday, April 13, at 10 a.m., for the ACMI House 4th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (R) event. Participants will begin at the Jackson County Courthouse and finish at the Altus City Park.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (R) is the international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence, when men can show their support by cramming their feet into a pair of women’s high heeled dress shoes, strutting one mile to the finish line in discomfort.
ACMI House Sexual Assault Advocate, Lori Sherman said, “It’s not easy walking in these shoes, but it’s fun and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about- gender relations and sexual violence.” The Walk is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediation to sexual violence.
“In the future we hope people know every second Saturday in April as being the Walk A Mile, and would like to see as many people wearing teal and purple as possible, or our awareness shirts,” said Sherman. The color teal represents sexual assault awareness and purple represents domestic violence awareness. T-shirts and merchandise will be available on Saturday.
Members of the community have opened up about their own personal experiences due to the increase of sexual violence awareness. “People are more apt to come forward and talk, and we can help them,” Sherman explained. Some have approached Sherman after an event to say, “That has happened to me.” To which she assures them it is not their fault.
“It’s empowering when you finally say it out loud,” Sherman explained.
Businesses in the community are also helping raise awareness of gender relations and sexual violence. Doris Jouett, Owner of Confectionately Yours on the corner of Cypress and Main St, in Altus, has had a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (R)” window display in her store since April 1st.
Vicki Rogers is the designer and decorator of the display, and has constructed many window arrangements for Confectionately Yours since it’s relocation in 2003, Jouett explained. “She is a Godsend.” The display is decorated with red high heeled shoes tied to tree branches by teal ribbons, that are planted inside a red “Walk a Mile” coffee bag. “Sugar,” the store’s beloved mannequin is wearing red high heels and the ACMI House t-shirt with a teal and purple logo. Rogers also incorporated some items from the shop to make it complete.
The local coffee and pastry hang out has even created a special drink, “The Red Shoe,” named after the stylish red stilettos to be clacking toward the City Park, in honor of the 4th annual walk. “The Red Shoe” is described as a fresh cherry puree’ with a hint of Amaretto syrup, that will energize and invigorate with antioxidants and electrolytes. $1 of every Red Shoe drink purchased will be donated to the AMCI House, explained Jouett.
Representative Charles Ortega and Senator Mike Schulz, are confirmed to speak at the event. There will be free food at the finish line of the walk and live entertainment provided the band ADSUM of Lawton. Awards will be presented for the 1st Place finisher, Under 18 finishers, 1st Largest Group finishers, and for the Largest Group finisher.
All proceeds from Walk A Mile in Her Shoes (R) got to ACMI House Sexual Assault Services Program. Donations are welcome. Awareness t-shirts are on sale for $10.
For more information visit www.socag.org or email Lori.ACMI@socag.org or call 580-482-3800 or 800-466-3805.