POTTSVILLE — In Schuylkill County Thursday night, more than 100 people, mostly men, marched against sexual violence, and they marched in heels, high heels that is.
It was the third annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event in Pottsville, a fundraiser for the Sexual Assault Resource and Counsling Center (SARCC) of Schuylkill County.
Picking the perfect pair of heels can be tough, the men strapped on colorful shoes and walked a mile. Some men even ran a bit.
They even put up with some good natured teasing along the way.
“I was approached by a co-worker last year who was like involved, and he asked me if I wanted to walk in heels and I said,’what are you talking about?’ So then we got involved in it last year and this year we raised some money for it. We wanted to get a lot more involved in it this year,” said Michael O’Brien of Minersville.
Wearing their heels and in some cases dresses and wigs, the men said they don’t mind doing it to raise awareness of sexual violence.
The cause is really the biggest thing. It’s important and all that and why not? It’s fun,” said Eric Becker of Shenandoah.
“It supports services for women and children, that would be counseling, individual support group. We have a 24 hour hotline and also provides prevention education and services,” said Jenny Murphy-Shifflet of the SARCC.
Organizers said the center helps about 500 people each year, most of them children.
They said many of the men who choose to walk know someone who has been hurt by sexual violence, including pastor Jeff Colarossi of Pottsville.
“I know women who have been assaulted, and this is a great organization. I believe in it. I believe in the work that they do so I’m going to help where and when I can,” said Pastor Colarossi.
Organizers were hoping that the walk in Pottsville raised between $9,000 and $10,000, money that will all stay in Schuylkill County.