Photo courtesy of Dixie Chapman
Cleon Chapman gets ready for "Walk a mile in her shoes" by donning classic 6-inch black stilettos and leisurely reading "Oprah" magazine.
At the Bingham Crisis Center there is a wall filled with photos, coined "The wall of shame" by the Center staff. It features grim faces of those found guilty of sexual and domestic abuse stare unkindly from unblinking eyes. There are far too many faces than necessary for Bingham County and a stark reminder that Idaho is not exempt from the chilling statistics.
Sexual violence is defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence reports that "6.1 percent of all children have been sexually victimized in the past year. Eight point eight percent of Idaho students have reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to. One in six women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime."
To raise awareness about domestic and sexual abuse, the Bingham Crisis Center is conducting the second annual "Walk a Mile In Her Shoes". It is an international men's march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. The activity features men wearing women's high-heeled shoes for a mile walk from the center to downtown Blackfoot and back.
Dixie Chapman, director of the center, said "Eighty-five percent of sexual abuse is perpetrated by men. Men have a great influence over other men and they are the one that can help stop this."
The men are encouraged to bring their own high heels or get some from the center to use. "If men don't want to wear high heels it is recommended that they wear something to bring out their feminine side." said Chapman. "Some men wore pink sneakers decorated with flowers last year."
Center personnel encourage fundraising for the walk at BHS and Snake River by having men walk the halls in their high-heeled shoes. The high school raising the most money will receive the traveling trophy and bragging rights for the year. Last year the event raised $5,000 for the center.
Registration is ongoing until the day of the walk, Saturday from 11a.m.-2 p.m. and forms can be picked up at the Crisis Center, 288 N. Shilling or at Rupe's Burgers. Contact 785-1047 for further questions. Women and children are also welcome to join in the walk.