The Hippo


May 29, 2020








The Concord PD Pumps on Patrol team model their high heels at last year’s walk. Courtesy photo.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 

Where: White Park, 1 White St., Concord
When: Wednesday, Oct. 7, 4:30 to 7 p.m. 
Cost: Registration costs $35 for adults, $10 for youth 18 and under and is free for kids ages 5 and under. Register online or at the event. 

All pumped up
Men walk in high heels to help end domestic and sexual violence

By Angie Sykeny

Anyone who has tried walking in high heels knows it can be a challenge, especially if you aren’t used to it. On Wednesday, Oct. 7, at White Park in Concord, dozens of men will take on that challenge for the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire’s second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. These walks, held worldwide, invite men to stand up for victims of domestic and sexual violence by walking one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. 

“[Domestic and sexual violence] is a solemn, serious issue, and people don’t like to talk about it,” Jessica Fogg Livingston, event coordinator, said. “[The walk] is about putting yourself in the shoes of the victims and trying to understand what victims go through, but it has a lighthearted spin on it to get people talking about [the issue].” 
The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. with check-in and onsite registration, followed by an opening ceremony at 5:15 p.m., with remarks from the Crisis Center executive director and a domestic violence survivor. The walk — about one mile around the park — will launch at 5:30 p.m., and the awards ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. There will also be team photos at that time, and food available for purchase. 
Everyone is welcome to participate in the walk, not just men, but the focus is on educating men about domestic and sexual violence and giving them an opportunity to show their support for an issue that affects primarily women.
“Watching these big guys in heels, it’s like watching a bunch of giraffes trying to walk around; you can tell it’s very uncomfortable for them,” Jodi Naughton, event co-chair, said. “But it’s exciting to see men put themselves in that position of vulnerability to say, ‘Hey, we need to recognize what [the victims] are going through, even if it’s something difficult for us to understand.’”
Participating men will need to purchase their own high heels prior to the event. An award will be given for Best Shoes, so some men choose to get creative and decorate their shoes. 
While high heels are the event’s trademark, walkers aren’t required to wear them. Those walking in regular shoes can still show their support by wearing purple, the Domestic Violence Awareness color. In the spirit of the walk, Euphoria Hair & Body Salon in Concord is offering $10 purple hair extensions, with proceeds benefiting the Crisis Center, from now until the day of the event.
Many other local businesses and community organizations are taking part as well. The New Hampshire State Police and Concord Fire Department teams will be returning for their second year in heels, as well as the famous Concord Police Department team, Pumps on Patrol, which raised nearly $2,000 last year. 
“Concord Police Officer Dana Dexter had some outrageous shoes last year,” Fogg Livingston said. “This year, he’s keeping his shoes a secret until right before the event because, he says, ‘The more that people donate, the higher my shoes will be.’” 
The funds raised from Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will benefit the programs and operations of the Crisis Center, but Naughton said that raising awareness about domestic and sexual violence is just as beneficial as the funds, if not more so. 
“Victims need help, so we need the fundraising,” she said, “but if instead of just responding [to violence] we work to prevent it in the first place, that will cut our need for funds because we won’t have any victims. … It’s about changing the culture we live in.” 

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