FLHS Walks Miles in Her Shoes

FLHS Walks Miles in Her Shoes

Sarah Chen, Entertainment Editor

On April 18, 2021, Fairfield Ludlowe High School participated in the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign in solidarity for victims of sexual violence. Tim Morris, advisor of Raising Abuse Awareness For Teens Club (RAAFT) and a member of the FLHS counseling staff, encouraged faculty members to bring awareness to the issues of sexual violence and abuse. “I really want to teach my students on what healthy relationships look like so that they are treated with respect,” he said. Mr. Morris has worked closely with the Center For Family Justice, a nonprofit organization in Bridgeport, and RAAFT to unite the community around the mission to end sexual violence.

The mission of the Center for Family Justice is to “end domestic and sexual violence and child abuse in our communities… by providing services that create hope, restore lives, and drive social change through education and community collaboration.” Eight years ago, they started a White Ribbon campaign featuring the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event in which men and boys, literally, wear high heels to understand the experience of women and actively confront gender stereotypes. In this empathetic manner, Walk A Mile in Her Shoes, which organizes the walks nationally each year, affirms that “it’s possible to reveal the underlying causes of men’s sexualized violence with less defensiveness and denial.” The Center for Family Justice event has currently raised a total of $40,774 dollars in support of Bridgeport Camp Hope America, New England’s first therapeutic summer camp program for kids who have been impacted by the trauma of domestic or sexual violence. Participants in this walk are standing up against ingrained biases and degrading violence, building a more supportive community for people of all gender identities, and furthering prevention efforts. 

FLHS students from all grade levels and faculty members walked one mile around the school facility on April 18. English teacher Dr. Dardani attended the walk alongside her students and remarked, “It’s important to educate ourselves about the causes and consequences of inequalities like abuse so that we can pursue equality. Even though it’s uncomfortable to talk about such things at school, it’s necessary. I hope we can continue.”  National statistics from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) show that 88% of sexual abuse perpetrators are men and 1 in every 3 girls between 11 and 17 have been raped. These staggering numbers emphasize the need to incorporate discussions of gender equality into school curriculums to empower girls and women across the nation. 

Through this walk, men and boys have been asked to “overcome gender biases and deconstruct toxic masculinity” to become allies to all women and victims of sexual violence. Whether participants are wearing high heels or not, this event has facilitated self-reflection and communication—the first steps in preventing sexual violence, according to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.

For more information, check out CDC’s Sexual Violence Prevention Resources and contact the RAINN hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE for free and confidential help.