Local Men Walk in Heels to Help Prevent Violence Against Women

Walk A Mile

Local men donned red heels on Saturday morning to raise money for Women in Crisis during the second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event at City Hall.

This event, which raised $46,054.50 for WIC, was a way for men and women to walk in honour of someone who has been affected by abuse and violence. All funds raised will be used to help Women in Crisis – which offers many services to women in need, including an emergency shelter – continue their efforts here in the Sault.

One participant in Saturday’s walk was Lauri Mercer, a survivor of abuse and violence.

Mercer, who took 29 years to leave her situation, said she’s walking so other women don’t have to do the same.

“(I’m here) to let women and children know that they can live in a violent-free life,” she said.

She said it feels great to know how many people in the community support WIC and women in situations like hers.

“It’s big. It brings the Sault together and shows everybody that we can overcome something – everybody can overcome it.”

Her message to other women in the same situation?

“You’re stronger than you think you are and you can do it; and somebody will believe you.

“To hear someone say they believed me was the biggest relief ever. Because the biggest fear is you always think they won’t believe you, and they do.”

Sonny Spina, who’s been involved in the walk since it’s inception (when we was on the police force), said he decided to get involved because he thought it was a great way to engage and educate the community about violence against women and children.

“This was really a way that we could have a huge statement all at the same time, collectively, that no one in this community will stand for violence against women and children anywhere within our city,” he said.

Spina said he thinks events like this are an important way for the community to come forward and talk about an issue that’s uncomfortable.

“When you have an event like this, it actually gives people the opportunity to come forward and start that really difficult conversation,” he said. “And if this helps one person come forward, it’s absolutely worth it.”

As for walking in heels?

“The shoes really aren’t that bad,” he said.

Spina said he has a new-found perspective and appreciation for how it feels for women to walk in heels.

“It’s actually a little harder standing around waiting for the event, but as soon as I put them on and started walking towards the starting line, I had an immediate appreciation for when I’m walking into a wedding with my wife and she’s walking a little slower than I am.”


  1. I’m not ashamed to say I’m with Jim on this. The red heels symbolism in this event does seem confusing and contrary to female empowerment. There is a commonly held association of red stilettos as a stereotypical symbol of a woman’s sexual identity and power. But red stilettos do not truly define who a true woman is, just the sexual side of femininity. Using that symbol in this event also runs the risk of reinforcing the old stereotype that victims of sexual assault dress provocatively. The men who tried it probably found out that walking in them any distance makes a person feel more vulnerable than a practical shoe does, not empowered.

  2. This is a very worthy cause, but I haven`t found any information pertaining to the significance of men wearing red shoes, could someone please tell me what that`s all about, or is it just a “walk a mile in our shoes” kind of idea ?

  3. Congratulations to those that participated in this year’s very important walk for the right reason.

    Most people volunteer their time to participate in these important events. (Sigh)….except Constable Spina who as the community police liaison was paid over $100,000 a year by the Taxpayers to attend these kinds of events as part of the job.

    Shame on Spina for now using these events same events for his own benefit now that he is the Harper/Scheer!

  4. When it is the Red Shoe Movement it means power with femininity. So by all means keep looking for the proper meaning for the right cause. I love seeing the community comming together for a cause. Kudos to each and everyone that joined in and supported this cause.

  5. @Lisa Renne – are you referring to Louis XIV? That’s where the concept originated.

  6. Red shoes are a symbol of unruly women. … Or at least a Pope, who traditionally wore red leather loafers since at least 1484, until Pope Francis gave them up for comfortable, brown orthopedic shoes

    • You could always provide that information Lori Strachan, so everyone would know what the symbolism of red shoes is, instead of insulting people who are not aware.

    • Thanks Lisa, I tried googling the significance of men wearing red shoes, but didn`t see anything like this, thanks again, good to know. Pedophiles are sick, twisted, and evil, for that matter any adult who intentionally hurts a child in any way is truly a monster.

  7. Thank you to all those men and women who raised funds, walked and supported the work against violence against women and children in our community. These funds will help shelter women and children.

    • Glad to see such a high profile turnout though it’s a shame the support is only one sided

    • The only info I could find on the subject of men wearing red shoes wasn`t anything you would want associated with this very good cause Lisa Renne. So would you please provide me with the information that explains the reasoning behind men wearing red shoes for this walk. Or is it “just walk a mile in our shoes” idea ?

    • Thanks Lisa I had tried Google a few times, but didn`t come up with this info. I`m sure many people are unaware of this information, so thanks again for putting this information out for all to see. Truly there are monsters.

    • You’re more than welcome Jimmy, and, you’re right, not too many people know about this, and, it runs Thick in Canada, and throughout the liberal party.

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