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'A Mile in Her Shoes' event raising awareness of abuse

By Kaitlyn Dahle
On April 2, 2014

On Tuesday night, I was walking from my dorm to grab a bite to eat from Taco Bell.
I was enjoying the warm evening air, like almost everyone else was, and I figured on cutting through the Cave in the Culp Center to Taco Bell like I normally do.
At the entrance to Starbucks though, I ran into a group of people gathered around an open mic.
I decided to stay and listen to what was being said.
As I listened, I knew I wanted to stay until the event was over, for the stories were heart-wrenching and moving.
Little did I know, I had stumbled upon the even called "Take Back the Night," in prelude to the "Mile in Her Shoes" walk happening this evening, right in front of the Culp at 6 p.m.
Both of these programs are to help bring awareness to how prevalent sexual violence toward women is, and teaching men to stand up against this violence.
"Take Back the Night" was dedicated to an open mic where brave women would stand up in front of a crowd of strangers and tell their emotional stories of sexually violent acts that they had to endure.
When the speaker would get emotional, I would start to cry.
It hurt my heart listening to what these poor women had to go through.
Even a few men went up to the mic to talk about how they felt hurt and heartbroken over women they knew who were hurt by sexual violence.
You could hear the pain in their voices as well, and it was just as emotional.      
This really is an amazing cause, because I don't think people really know how much sexual violence toward women there is.
It is estimated that one out of every three women has been sexually abused.
There are a little over 3 billion women in the world, so doing the math, that adds up to 1 billion women.
One billion women! That's a disgusting number that needs to drop and drop fast!
There are societal issues that need to be addressed, like a lack of education and the sheer lack of psychological help available to both men and women in the world.
These will certainly help in the crusade against this violence.
Another thing we need to teach everyone is that it is not OK to fight fire with fire, like beating up a man who has sexually assaulted someone.
Though I'm sure we'd like to, this just encourages violence in other ways.
And who knows?
Maybe the perpetrator himself has been abused in some way and was never able to get help, and thus resorted to sick, violent acts.
"A Mile in Her Shoes" is a start to the education in our society and I highly encourage the men out there to at least try and participate.
Some of the women telling those stories on Tuesday night weren't even women yet when they were abused.
This violence needs to stop!

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