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Painfully Walking a Mile in Her Shoes

walk a mile


Many staffers at DVN and their families, mine included, proudly walked a mile in her shoes on April 5th to benefit the Marion County Centers of Hope. The Centers of Hope nursing staff offers free examinations for those who experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. By offering immediate health examinations, they provide compassionate care in the midst of chaos and collect critical evidence which can be later used in prosecution.

To raise awareness of these issues, they hosted, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” where men wear high heels and attempt to walk a mile. Before the event, I was excited to try on my first pair of heels. After cramming my size 12W foot into a bright red, 4-inch heel, my joy was quickly replaced with instant pain and the type of whining only men and four –year-olds can produce.

I began questioning, “this can’t be right, maybe I need a different size” and, “how do women do this” or, “shouldn’t this be illegal?”

After asking my friends these questions repeatedly, I was assured that, yes, the pain is normal and no, you don’t need a bigger size. I’ll be the first to admit, when it comes to physical pain, I am a wimp. But this seemed extraordinary, like a challenge on the Amazing Race where contestants must recreate an ancient wood carving with an old stump and a chisel.

I gained a greater appreciation for women who rock out the heel, but that was secondary to the real message. While walking slowly, we passed images of people killed by their partners, artistic displays with shocking statistics, and rows of t-shirts with messages of pain, hope, and anger from survivors. In my work, I read stories of survivors and startling statistics daily, but this was different. In those moments, hobbling along, my feet on fire, I was stirred and proud to support the Centers of Hope.