High heels will help heal

Local men will don high heels and strut their stuff next Saturday for a good cause.

The second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event will be held May 10 downtown Marshalltown to raise awareness about sexual assault and show support for victims.

The men participating in the walk will wear high heels to represent what women mean to them, said Deputy D. L. Dean, of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, event organizer.

The donning of the heels shows what they will go through to show their commitment to sexual assault awareness. The heels are also a metaphor for support systems. Most men have no experience walking in high heels, so the women, who are not being asked to wear heels, will be there to guide them, Dean said.

“It’s an eye opener that will show someone we have support in our system for those that have experienced sexualized violence,” Dean said. “It shouldn’t be a hush hush thing and we should have that support factor because each one us has had at least two or three people in our lives that have experienced sexualized violence.”

Women and kids are also invited to participated in the walk.

“It’s not just for men to walk,” Dean said. “Women and kids can participate as well and the women are not required to wear heels. They can wear heels if they choose to or they don’t have to because every day they do it.”

Last year 60 people walked, Dean said, and this year he wants to get more than 100 involved.

Mike Tupper, Marshalltown police chief, participated in the walk last year and will be doing it again.

“Sexual assault is a problem facing our community certainly,” Tupper said. “It’s a problem facing society in general and I think it’s a great opportunity to educate folks on the problem and some of the things we might be able to do as a community to solve the problem.”

The event starts at 2 p.m. with registration at the Marshall County Courthouse lawn. The event is sponsored by the FARST Foundation & Full Tilt Riders MC.

Before the walk, exercises and warm ups will be done to help prepare for the mile-long trek.

Tupper said as of now, he is not doing anything to prepare for the walk.

“I’m not shaving my legs or anything like that,” Tupper said. “Last year I won the best legs contest so I’m going to try and defend my title.”

Ted Kamatchus, Marshall County Sheriff, participated in the walk last year. He said because of a bad left ankle cannot walk in high heels, however he will still show his support at the courthouse and encourage people to participate.

“It heightens awareness that there are individuals out there who really truly do suffer and do need to have our support,” Kamatchus said. “That’s why I did it last year.”

The cost is $20 for students, $30 for military and emergency medical services personnel and $40 for anyone else.

All proceeds will go to Assault Care Center Extending Shelter & Support (ACCESS), that provides for Marshall, Tama, Boone, Greene and Story County.

For more information, contact Dean at farstfoundation@gmail.com or visit the event’s Facebook page.