More than 50 participants gathered at Minnesota School of Business Wednesday for the first annual Walk in Her Shoes event to raise awareness of sexual violence.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, every day in Minnesota seven people are raped and 11 others are victims of a sexual offense.
Participants, including men, donned high heeled women’s shoes for the mile-and-a-half walk to characterize the old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked in their shoes.”
“I think the old saying rings true and the more people that we can get together for an event like this and make more comfortable talking about sexual violence the better,” said criminal justice instructor Janell Trocke.
School staff and students, along with groups from the Crown Room in Rogers and Elk River-based Metal Craft started the walk from Minnesota School of Business and circled back after reaching the pedestrian bridge that crosses over Highway 169, just off of Freeport Avenue.
While taking a short break on the bridge, walker Andrew Rippe slipped off his high heels to examine his feet.
“Yep, there are already blisters forming,” Rippe said. “I don’t know how women do it.”
Through a jeans week held at the Elk River campus, event registration donations and Minnesota School of Business matching the amount of funds raised, a total of $1,150 will be donated to Rivers of Hope, a local organization advocating against family violence.