June 15th, 2021

Flashy red pumps return to raise awareness of gender-based violence

By Mo Cranker on May 9, 2017.

SARC executive director Christina Johnson poses for a photo at her downtown office Monday afternoon with a size-12 men's high-heel shoe. One June 3, a group of men will be walking one mile in a pair of heels to raise awareness of gender-based violence.--NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER


It’s not all too often men can put on a pair of bright-red high heels and walk around town without being questioned.

The southeastern Alberta Sexual Assault Response Committee will be holding its ninth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event in hopes of raising awareness to fight gender-based violence, says executive director Christina Johnson.

“We do this once each year and it’s a great way to raise some awareness for violence that is gender based,” she said. “While it is centered around the men walking one mile in the high heels, women and children are also encouraged to participate.”

During the walk, which is exactly one mile long, men will be wearing high heels and carrying picket signs with victim testimonials on them.

“The community is awesome and the men who come out to walk are too,” she said. “They come out every year to put on the heels and show our community that sexual violence is wrong. They are also showing survivors that they are there and supporting that, and are literally willing to walk a mile in their shoes.”

To participate, men or anyone else has to raise $20, which will be donated to SARC’s counselling program. The program offers free sessions to survivors of sexual trauma.

“While a huge part of this event is raising awareness, getting people out there and raising money also starts conversations about sexual violence — that is an important part of the process,” said Johnson.

Johnson says SARC has 100 pairs of shoes to lend people and is hoping to use them all this year.

The group will be holding a number of sizing events for those men who might not own red or leopard skin heels. The first is Saturday at Sobeys from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bandages will be provided after the run for anyone with blisters.

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