Walk a Mile in Her Shoes PSU-LV RISE club hosts men’s strut for awareness
Penn State Lehigh Valley’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event kicked off on April 16th. This was the 5th annual walk hosted by the campus’s RISE club, a national organization with the mission to “rise up against sexual violence, abuse, trafficking, and exploitation in the community, through awareness prevention, action and aftercare.”
At the event, male students, faculty, and staff stood up against sexual violence by completing the symbolic mile walk while wearing 4-inch red heels. Supporters lined the street and cheered on the group of heeled men as they made their way through the walk. Chants such as “stand up, speak up” and “we stand wtih women” were lead by club executive board members using megaphones.
The course ended at Penn State Lehigh Valley’s Lion Shrine where Naseeba Saeed, President of campus RISE club, introduced the event’s guest speaker, Tashina Khabbaz. Khabbaz is club’s founding member as well as a member of the Valley Agaisnt Sex Trafficking, or VAST organiztion for the community. Khabbaz began her speech by sharing a story about a vulnerable young girl who fell victim to sexual assult and trafficking. The story was followed by statistics as 45 million people globally are exploited for sex trafficking with the average age range for victims being 12 to 14 years old. Her powerful words reminded everyone the importance of the walk and the work RISE and VAST are doing for the community.
Also attending the event were representatives from Lehigh Valley Health Network and Truth for Women. Trusth for Women, a local organization providing support and care for sexually expolited women on their way to recovery, have cared for over 50 women in the Lehigh Valley. Both groups supplied information about their services along with what everyone can do to help prevent sexual harassment and trafficking in their community.
The phone number for the National Hot Line to Report Sex Trafficking is 1-888-373-7888.