The March Against Sexual Violence
MANKATO, Minn. --- Police officers, firefighters and the Mankato community got together April 28 for the 5th year of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, the international men's march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.
Warriors against sexual violence marched the streets of downtown Mankato, a little taller than usual and a little out of their comfort zone as they paraded the streets in red heels.
"If we're really going to get involved in this and we're actually going to walk our talk, part of that is we have to make ourselves uncomfortable," said executive director of the Committee Against domestic Abuse in Mankato, Jason Mack.
Dressed in red from head to toe, one dedicated walker drove two hours to march. He's a veteran at the event and came prepared in his walking heels.
"I got these on Craigslist and I think it was the most expensive part of the outfit," said Kim Walstad.
His outfit drew a smiling crowd, but was put together with a purpose.
"I saw this last summer at Anoka and I saw these signs and I was in tears, so, it's for a good cause, so every time I come I donate money and I'm going to try and raise more the next time," said Walstad standing next to a board that represents a life list from domestic abuse.
Funds and donations from the event go to CADA in Mankato.
A portion of those funds came from the next generation of law enforcement ranging in age from 14 to 20 with the Police Explorers Program.
"It helps them understand that we do more things than just respond to calls for service, there's ways to get involved with the community and show support for those in our community that are affected by this type of violence," said Mankato Public Safety Commander, Matt DuRose.
"To have them here with us makes me proud that we can get the next generation here and they have a little bit of fun while they're at it too," said DuRose.
With some even racing to the finish line.
"I tried my best and fought through the pain," said the first to cross the finish line, but when asked how his feet felt: terrible.
The red heels and sore feet are all part of a larger message.
"It's okay to be uncomfortable, metaphorically we're doing that today, but I hope you take that a step further and actually get uncomfortable in your own life and address these issues, okay?," said Mack.