By Elle Carlos |Staff Writer|
A total of 63 men, both students and faculty, walked in high heels through the lobby of the San Manuel Student Union to raise awareness about sexualized violence against women on March 7.
The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event was hosted by the Panhellenic Council, which includes Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi, Kappa Delta and Zeta Tau Alpha sororities.
“One of the things I think should be incorporated is cat calling, because that is something that girls go through all the time,” said student Michael Mejia.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an international mens march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.
By men taking a walk in women’s shoes, they are able to view these situations from a different perspective.
“It was pretty cool,” added Mejia when asked what he thought of the event.
In 2014, five forcible sexual offenses were reported on campus, according to the CSUSB police department annual report.
The 2015 CSUSB police department annual report indicated that within the next 24 months Sexual Assault Intervention Tactics (SAINTs) will be implemented within the Greek fraternities and Women’s Self-Defense training for Greek Sororities.
Alpha Delta Pi sorority provided a display of information regarding services offered on campus for victims of sexual assault, such as the campus Title IX office, which was also a supporter of the event.
San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services had advocates present who provided information for students interested in enrolling to assist victims and brochures of services offered for victims of sexual assault.
San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services is an organization that provides counseling and a 24-hour hotline to assist victims at any time.
“We have group counseling, support groups, one-on-one counseling, family counseling and advocacy,” said Beatrice Bayona, San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services advocate.
“We provide training for those who want to get involved,” said Jessica Doherty, San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services advocate.
When men would approach the table to check out their pair of high heels, they were asked a true or false question.
The most popular question was whether rape was an impulsive act.
“Most people responded true, but it is actually false. Most rapes are actually preplanned,” said student and Alpha Delta Pi member Destiny Muse.
“Women are usually stalked. It is a premeditated type of violence,” added Muse.
Between 60-70 percent of rapes are at least partially planned ahead of time, according to movingtoendsexualassault.org.
For cases of sexual assault, dating violence, sexual harassment or stalking, students or faculty members can seek help by contacting the campus advocate Marina Wood or the Title IX department.
“I am always going to encourage people to refer to myself, the advocate, because I’m confidential. I am able to help them brainstorm other options,” said Marina Wood, CSUSB advocate.
Service options for victims of sexual assault include Title IX, police, counseling and psychological services, or an off-campus sexual assault services department.
Panhellenic Council decided to take the lead on the event this year to increase awareness by getting more organizations involved.
End sexual violence trainings have been pushed across the CSU for the past couple of years and this event served as another way to spread sexual assault awareness.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes served as an interactive way for men to learn about sexualized violence women experience and increase awareness about an issue that has unfortunately become so common.