UofM hosts annual ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 7:10 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Dozens of women and men donned signs and put on high heels at the University of Memphis on Tuesday, walking a mile in a woman’s shoes.

The annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event at the University of Memphis is to recognize and support women who are victims of domestic violence, including victims of rape, sexual harassment, stalking, and all other forms of violence that target women and girls.

The walk took place for the 12th year in a row, beginning at the Ramasses II Statue located on Central Avenue at the University of Memphis campus on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.

Action News 5 spoke with one survivor Tuesday. It’s his tenth year coming to the rally.

He shared the importance of this event under an alias.

“I dealt with it for a while, but it just got to the point where I said, ”No. Enough is enough,’” said Carl Jones. “No more.”

“I had things thrown at me,” he continued. “Pushed and all that stuff. It started off verbal but it got physical.”

Jones says he was in a verbally and physically abusive relationship several years ago when he was in his 20s.

Local law enforcement says domestic calls are on the rise.

In August, Memphis police said they responded to just over 16,000 domestic calls so far in 2023. At the same time, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner reported 22 family-related homicides.

Those numbers tend to be lower for male victims, but those cases are just as real.

“A lot of men are afraid to report, and a lot of times we think it’s just women who are the victims, but believe it or not, there are men who are victims of domestic violence as well,” said Jones.

Jones says a friend gave him the courage to walk away from his abusive relationship.

He hopes an event like this will help someone else who may be suffering from abuse, step into his shoes and walk away.

“Tell somebody,” said Jones. “Get out of that situation. It’s easier said than done, but let somebody know because we’ve lost a lot of lives.”

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