On April 8, ETSU Greek Life and OASIS hosted “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” in order to promote education and awareness of sexual assault and relationship violence, with support from several local organizations.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, so on Thursday, several fraternities and sororities worked together with various local organizations to host “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes,” a nationally recognized campaign to end sexual violence.
The pronoun in the event’s name was changed this year in order to include all gender identities. It is important to remember that sexual and relationship violence can happen to anyone and recognize and offer support to all victims of such abuse.
Cynthia Millhorn, graduate assistant for OASIS, summed up the purpose event by saying that it encourages participants to “think about this other person’s experience and what it might be like to be on the receiving end of harassment, assault and violence.”
In her pre-event speech, Amanda York, coordinator for OASIS, shared some real-world facts to help drive home the necessity of raising awareness. She said that “20-25% of all women experience some sexual violence in their lives” and urged participants to “be mindful of the language you use every day when we talk about things like this” and to speak up when they witness inappropriate conduct or hear harmful comments.
Fraternities and sororities were essential to organizing and executing this event. The Greek Life organizations present were: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Beta Upsilon Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
According to York, “When you mobilize your students to come together and do something like this, the increased visibility inspires conversation,” and helps to encourage education about consent and our roles in preventing relationship and sexual violence.
This event also held space for several organizations in the community to come and offer information and resources. The proceeds of this event were donated to Branch House, a 501c3 non-profit that works to empower survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and human trafficking. Other organizations present at the event included A Step Ahead Tri-Cities and the Johnson City/Washington County Family Justice Center.
Students can reach out to OASIS through the ETSU Counseling Center or report sexual violence or harassment at this website: https://www.etsu.edu/titleix/report.php.