Walkers strut in heels to protest sexual assault

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Conrad Krueger, dean of arts and sciences, busts out of his wedges during Walk a Mile In Her Shoes in the mall. Krueger grabbed his wedges and continued to march with them in hand on the way to the empowerment center.  Photo by Jon Hernandez

Conrad Krueger, dean of arts and sciences, busts out of his wedges during Walk a Mile In Her Shoes in the mall. Krueger grabbed his wedges and continued to march with them in hand on the way to the empowerment center. Photo by Jon Hernandez

Members of the Non-Traditional Student Club lead Walk A Mile In Her Shoes from Loftin to the empowerment center. Employees and students marched together to raise awareness of rape, sexual assault and gender violence.  Photo by Jon Hernandez

Members of the Non-Traditional Student Club lead Walk A Mile In Her Shoes from Loftin to the empowerment center. Employees and students marched together to raise awareness of rape, sexual assault and gender violence. Photo by Jon Hernandez

President challenges other institutions to sponsor marches next year.

By Tyrin Bradley

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Male military personnel, police officers, college administrators and students swapped out sneakers, boots and dress shoes for heels and wedges during this college’s first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes International Men’s March April 9 in the mall.

President Robert Vela picks out a change of shoes with the aid of Gracie Savage, administrative assistant in student services. Vela wore brown wedges to lead the march.  Photo by Jon Hernandez

President Robert Vela picks out a change of shoes with the aid of Gracie Savage, administrative assistant in student services. Vela wore brown wedges to lead the march. Photo by Jon Hernandez

This college’s empowerment center and the Rape Crisis Center hosted the march to raise awareness about sexual assault, rape and gender violence.

The march, which also included some female walkers, began at 11:15 a.m. with more spectators than participants.

However, by the time the procession reached the corner of Howard Street and Main Avenue, the number of participants had more than tripled as the sound of wedges, pumps, stilettos and open-toed heels gave rhythm to the blaring of megaphones and chants.

Chants of “no means no” and “SAC won’t talk about it; we’ll be about it” filled the air as signs reading “one in five is too many” and “there is no room for sexual assault” bobbed above the marchers.

There were a few broken heels along the way.

Richard Farias, director of student life, and kinesiology Chair Brad Dudney march in heels from Loftin to the Empowerment Center to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault.  Photo by Jon Hernandez

Richard Farias, director of student life, and kinesiology Chair Brad Dudney march in heels from Loftin to the Empowerment Center to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. Photo by Jon Hernandez

Conrad Krueger, dean of arts and sciences, broke one of his heels halfway through the march.

“Next time, I need stronger heels,” he said.

“More power to the ladies that wear them,” said Chief of Police Don Adams, who marched in a pair of black wedge heels.

In Texas, one in five women has been sexually assaulted in her lifetime, according to the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

The San Antonio area, with 39.1 rapes per 100,000 people in 2013, surpassed the national average of 25.2, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.

When the marchers reached the Rape Crisis Center at 703 Howard St., they stopped for refreshments, shade and the opportunity to take off their heels.

Dr. Robert Vela, president of this college, challenged local independent school districts, other colleges, universities and city officials to host a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes International Men’s March next year to make the event more widespread.

“Women go through unspeakable things,” mortuary science freshman Elijah Stansbury said.

“You never understand what somebody goes through until you’re in their shoes. Too many people turn a blind eye. Abuse should be stopped immediately.”

For more information on the empowerment center, call 210-486-0455 or visit www.alamo.edu/sac/swans.

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