The ABAC Baseball team, members of the AGR and Kappa Sigma Fraternities, along with volunteers from Ruth’s Cottage and the Patticake House gather for the annual Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event. The all-male event had participants walk a mile in high heels in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The event is a national campaign to bring to life the old adage, “If you’re going to talk to the talk, then you better be ready to walk the walk.” The campaign therefore has it’s participants walk the mile so men can see just a glimpse into what it’s like to be a woman. ABAC Baseball player Matt White said, “It’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.” White described the experience as, “Walking on my tiptoes and a peg leg.”
Ruth’s Cottage and the Patticake House hosted the event at the ABAC Circle in front of Tift Hall, they are Tifton’s local joint domestic violence prevention program and emergency shelter. Executive Director of Ruth’s Cottage, Nancy Bryan has been hosting the event for 15 years. “Most women that are killed from domestic violence, whether it be directly or indirectly, through their abuser normally have started their relationship in high school or college. So, it’s important for us to educate these young men now.”
As part of the registration fee, Ruth’s Cottage required participants’ shoe sizes. When participants came to give the pledge to abstain from the assault of a partner, they were given their choice of shoes in their size. Head Coach Brandon Reeder said, “they all picked shoes that match their personalities. You know it’s a fun thing to see all the guys out here in heels, but it’s for a good reason, they need to understand that this is an issue. It’s something that affects them.”
ABAC’s Baseball team has been taking part in the event for eight years and is the event’s biggest sponsor. All players participating donate
15 dollars in order to walk in the event. The Police Academy at ABAC usually sponsors the event, but due to Hurricane Michael and scheduling conflicts, they were unable to attend.
All participants in the event got a free T-shirt distributed by Ruth’s Cottage volunteers. Jamie Incop distributed shirts and after the event said, “Sexual Assault Awareness month can sometimes be overshadowed by Breast Cancer Awareness, which isn’t bad, these are just one of the things that a lot of people don’t like to talk about and this an opportunity for that to happen. That’s always the first step.”