Sisters on the Runway conclude Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a powerful message
It was a cold evening on Oct. 26 when Sisters on the Runway and participants walked a mile in heels to raise awareness for sexual and domestic violence.
This is the third time that Sisters on the Runway held the event and according to Alexandra Couch, president of Sisters on The Runway, the turn out was “nothing like [she] expected.” There was a long line out the door and down the hall inside the HUB as walkers waited to sign in, heels in hand.
“October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and at the end of the month we commemorate this message by holding this event,”Couch said.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an award-winning, nationwide event that has participants, mainly men, walk a mile in high heels to experience what it feels like to be in a woman’s place.
“It was scaled down to fit Penn State,” Couch said, “but the message is still there. The walk represents the struggles that women face every day and raise awareness for the women and men that are domestically abused and sexually harassed.” Couch is a senior at Penn State University majoring in communication sciences and disorders.
Waiting for the walk to begin, Fernando Mendez, a senior and political science and public relations major sat on the floor. “It’s a good cause and I wanted to participate,” he said. “I didn’t have any heels though,” he smiled. “I’m apart of Men Against Violence and wanted to show my support because this is an issue. This event is different because it incorporates heels and that’s what makes it impactful.”
As more participants trickled in, Helia Hosseinpour, a sophomore appeared. She was not participating, but she was more than willing to give voice to this cause. “I wish I could participate, but I have class.” She said. “This event, it is important. Women have to go through this all the time and this event may be a little thing, but it does have a big impact. It’s powerful.”
The registration was $5.00 and all the proceeds were given to Centre County Women’s Resource Center.
Couch spoke to the group before beginning the walk. She thanked them all for coming and participating, getting emotional as she spoke. “We want to tell the people that have gone through this that we are here. You’re not alone.”
Silver and purple balloons and signs were handed out. The walk began and the walkers made their way out of the HUB, down to College Ave. where the demonstration really began. Passersby stared, and one person even cheered. People looked through the windows as they passed the Corner Room. Heels clicked on the pavement as they walked along Allen Street, and walkers held the signs up to show to those in the cars waiting at red lights.
Sisters on the Runway is a student-run organization committed to the prevention and awareness of domestic violence. Find out more about the organization here and on their facebook for upcoming events.
If you or anyone you know is being abused or assaulted, help is available for women, men, and children at the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. All of their services are professional, confidential, and free.