Community leaders prepare to speak out against sexual assault
BLACKFOOT — The Bingham Crisis Center is seeking brave men to join thousands of others throughout the country in showing their support for women while taking a stand against sexual assault and gender violence.
That stand will be made in high-heeled shoes.
The Bingham Crisis Center is hosting a "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event Saturday at 11 a.m. They are hoping to raise awareness of sexual assault and gender violence. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
"This is an opportunity for men to step up and say 'enough is enough,'" said Dixie Chapman, director of the Bingham Crisis Center. "It's a neat opportunity for the community to get together and have fun."
The Crisis Center has several pairs of high heels for men wanting to participate. Those unwilling to wear high heels are still welcome to walk and show their support. Walkers are encouraged to register in advance and collect pledges.
The event is a fundraiser for the Crisis Center, which has had its federal funding cut severely this year. The funds raised will be used to support direct victim services including court advocates and counselors.
Several notable men in the community have already registered to walk including Mayor Mike Virtue, those in the Bingham County Prosecutor's Office and local business leaders.
"They're letting our community know they're not going to put up with any abusive behavior at any time," Chapman said. "It's a great way to stand up to it."
Chapman's husband Cleon will also be walking.
"I believe in treating women and girls with honor and respect," Cleon Chapman said. "I believe that real men lead with conviction and speak out against violence against women and girls."
Registration for "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" will begin at 11 a.m. at the Crisis Center at 288 N. Shilling. The cost is $10 to pre-register or $15 on the day of the event. Following the one-mile walk around downtown Blackfoot and back to the Crisis Center, lunch will be served. Registration forms are now available at the Crisis Center or at Rupe's Burgers.
For more information, call the Crisis Center at 785-1047.