RCC challenges men to ‘Walk a mile in her shoes’

Written and photographed by Emilie Kefalas

Law enforcement officials, veterans and other male members of the Savannah community took a stand against sexual violence by donning women’s heels Thursday evening for a lap around Forsyth Park as part of this year’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event.

Hosted annually by the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire, the mile-long walk embodies the pain and challenge rape and child molestation victims face after an assault, according to Rape Crisis Center Executive Director, Kesha Gibson-Carter.

The event featured an installation piece by SCAD senior painting major Alexis Stevenson. Stevenson’s work, titled “1 in 5,” was displayed along the starting line of the walk on the Drayton Street side of the Park.

Gibson-Carter addressed the crowd of men in heels and the women supporting them by emphasizing that the only ones who be ashamed of the word “rape” are those who perpetrate it.

“We want to honor the silence that victims are continuously living in, as well as take this unified stand against sexual violence and recognize that men can stop rape,” Gibson-Carter said. “This is not a very palpable word. Rape is something that we don’t want to say out loud, but today we declare that we are the ones who should not be ashamed of the word ‘rape’ and ‘child molestation.’ The only shame and embarrassment should be assigned to the perpetrators and the individuals who commit these acts.”