WILLISTON, N.D. - To kick-off April as sexual assault awareness month, WSC Student Life has partnered with CHI St. Alexius Health Williston, Williston Family Crisis Shelter, and the Central Dakota Forensic Nurse Examiners to host Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, on the Front Drive April 7 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
This event plays off the saying: You can't understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in his/her shoes. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes challenges men to literally walk one mile in women's high-heeled shoes.
"By hosting Walk a Mile in Her Shoes we are promoting prevention efforts by educating our students in a way that is fun but also serious," stated Leah Hoffman, WSC's Mental Health Counselor. "The event focuses particularly on motivating men to make a commitment to preventing sexual assault. Our prevention efforts are geared towards the bystander intervention approach, which encourages individuals to intervene in a situation where sexual violence is possible. 'If you see something, say something.' This may also include taking a person to a safe place, explaining that a sexual violence joke isn't funny, and knowing the appropriate resources that are available on campus and in the Williston community."
Open to the Williston-area community, families are welcome to attend but animals have been requested to stay home. Women are also encouraged to participate alongside for support. Heels will be provided for students, but community members are recommended to bring their own.
"It is important to know that we do have resources in town to help those of sexual assault. Sometimes it can be hard to understand who to go to for help, and we hope by partnering with those resources for this event, it will bring more awareness and support to those who need it," stated Karissa Kjos, Student Life Coordinator.
A free-will donation BBQ will also be available as walkers take their laps and DJ Kenny G entertains. Free Jump-N-Fun Inflatables will be available for kids. All proceeds will go to Central Dakota Forensic Nurse Examiners. New this year, attendees are asked to donate if able, toiletries, new or gently-used clothes, and school supplies to go to the Williston Family Crisis Shelter.
"This event does not have to be just about sexual violence," explains Hoffman. "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is about equality, respect, and treating each other well. Our goal is to have each attendee walk away with more knowledge and understanding of the bystander effect and to feel more comfortable challenging each other to do the right thing."
For more information on Walk a Mile [In Her Shoes] Contact Karissa Kjos at 701.774.4213.
For any information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu,
call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.