There is an old saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Walk a Mile in Her Shoes asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. Most women will tell you that it’s not easy walking in these shoes. However it is fun and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about: gender relations and gender based violence against women. It is estimated that around 3 million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, stalking, trafficking and sexual exploitation and other forms of violence every year. This is the equivalent to the entire population of Wales (Report to the Secretary General 2006).
It is critical to open communication about gender based violence. We can’t make any changes when the issue is hidden away. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get people talking as it is a subject that is often considered a taboo. It’s also an ugly topic and a lot of people don’t like to believe it exists. People that have experienced violence themselves want to forget about it. How do you get people talking now, so they can prevent it from happening? And if it’s already happened, how do you help them recover. This is why it is important to see male champions taking a stance against gender based violence against women. Together we can form a powerful force to shout out to our community and to the world that gender based violence is unacceptable. We are proud to be taking part in Cardiff’s Walk a Mile in her Shoes for another year. Each year it’s great to see more men taking part. This year we also had the joy of seeing Chris Green the Executive Director of White Ribbon UK join us for his first ever Walk a Mile event in Wales!
At Calon we provide Temporary Accommodation for individuals and families who face homelessness. One of the causes for homelessness is women and children escaping abusive households. We currently manage over 300 properties in Cardiff, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil. Our landlords that provide us with these properties are also taking a stance by choosing to lease their properties to help some of the most in need families. If you are a landlord and would like to find out more then please get in touch with us on the contact page. You don’t have to put on a pair of high heels to make a difference.
Despite the fun and joy conveyed by the fabulous male volunteers in the annual walk a Mile in her Shoes we must not forget the core message that is at the heart of the campaign and implore everyone to take a stance and make a difference.
If you can Talk the Talk…. Then surely you can Walk the Walk.