SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A large group of men sashayed down Santana Row in high-heeled shoes Wednesday to raise $180,000 for the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” campaign this year.
The 16th annual walk raised almost $40,000 more than last year for the Young Women’s Christian Association. Many of the 600 participants were young people, according to YWMCA spokesman Beatriz Castillo.READ MORE: Environmental Whistleblower Sets Off Probe Into Illegal Discharge Of Petcoke At Port Of Benicia
“Certainly the ‘Me Too’ movement has made people feel like they want to take action,” Castillo said. “This is something they can take part in to do that.”
About 85 percent of the walkers were men, Castillo said, and 76 members of the San Jose State men’s football team showed out to the event. Mayor Sam Liccardo and police Chief Eddie Garcia also participated, although the mayor walked in sandals.
Castillo said high heels are used to draw attention the event, and acknowledged that the shoes don’t represent every female identity. Participants are welcome to walk in regular shoes.READ MORE: COVID: UCSF Researchers Examine Impact Of Coronavirus On Young Brains After 3 Teens Develop Psychosis
Each participant paid $56 to participate in the event, Castillo said, signifying one women assaulted every 56 minutes in the United States. Students paid $5.60, and Castillo said one boy from Oak Grove High School walked in solidarity with his mother.
“He witnessed his mother be subjected to domestic violence, and he knew then he was going to make sure it never happened to anyone other woman,” Castillo said.
All the funds and donations from the campaign will go toward YWCA’s services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking.MORE NEWS: Desperately-Needed Rainfall from 'Bomb Cyclone' Gives Hope For North Bay Drought Recovery
The YWCA will also use the funds for counseling, reduced cost child care and educational services about consent and equality.