MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The 11th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event hosted by the Memphis Area Women’s Council, U of M Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Coalition and Title IX Prevention Center kicked off Thursday night.
More than two weeks after the discovery of Eliza Fletcher’s body, members of the community have come together to speak out on her behalf and on behalf of thousands of other American women who have been victims of violence.
There were people from all walks of life, but the one thing they had in common was that they were tired of violence against women. At least 100 people put on their best shoes to walk a mile in his shoes.
“As we’ve seen on campus, we’ve seen a lot of atrocities towards our community and the Memphis community as a whole, so I think if we give back and do things like that to show everyone world that we care about, then we can build our camaraderie in the community and help each other as a whole,” said University of Memphis student Darius Gilliam.
“It’s common, but it’s not normal or okay. So we’re just trying to reset the narrative,” said Julianna Daniel, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Coalition.
Daniel was sexually assaulted by his best friend’s boyfriend when she was only 15. She said when she spoke up she was greeted with anger instead of support, which is why she knew she had to get involved and share her story at an event like this.
“They show a lot of support, especially to survivors like me and others. It just shows that we show up for each other, that we are there for each other. We are trying to make a change and prevent this from happening again,” Daniel said.
It is this message that is echoed by many participants like Kim White who want to see a change in the community and in the world.
“It’s just not going to be tolerated. It’s time to put an end to it. Period. we’re going to get up. That’s all you can do,” White said.
Participants Thursday said it was not a women’s or victims’ issue. That’s everyone’s problem, and that’s what organizers hope people take away from the event.
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