Hundreds of men wear high heels in San Jose to 'walk a mile in her shoes'

- Hundreds of men in San Jose wore high heels Wednesday night to send a message to end violence against women at the YWCA Silicon Valley’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event at Santana Row. This year, the event took on new meaning given the Me Too era.
 
Some men walked with grace, others not so much. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo opted for sandals.
 
“Because I’m a wimp and I know how painful it is to walk in high heels,” said Liccardo. 
 
Wearing stylish pumps, platform shoes, gold wedges, kinky red boots and painted toenails, more than 600 men strutted down Santana Row in a pair of women's shoes to raise money and awareness.
 
With help from San Jose State’s Coach Carter, the YWCA Silicon Valley hosted the annual lighthearted event to put a spotlight on serious issues.
 
“We know that upwards of 1 in 4 people experience sexual assault or domestic violence in their lifetime,” said YWCA Silicon Valley CEO Tanis Crosby. 
 
The nonprofit helps more than 1,100 survivors and said this year, there's a stronger emphasis given the Me Too movement.
 
“I think the tide is turning,” said Crosby. “I think more people are having conversations about the importance of standing up to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence and more people are having candid conversations about what's acceptable and what's not.”
 
“I think the Me Too movement is amazing and long overdue,” said Adnan Prizada of San Jose. 
 
Prizada is a software engineer. It’s his first walk, inspired by the Me Too movement created in the wake of allegations against Hollywood celebrities like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. In Santa Clara County, voters this month recalled Judge Aaron Persky for what many considered a lenient sentence against a former Stanford swimmer, convicted of sexual assault.
 
“To hear how prevalent it is and how many women face this silently it's just one of those things I feel helpless and I feel there's always more that I can do,” said Prizada. 
 
“It’s reality and there's people out there who need help,” said Rick Beatty of the Alessandra Foundation. 
                
Beatty walked for his 27-year-old daughter Alessandra Barlas. She was killed by her ex-boyfriend in San Jose in 2015. He and others are hoping to change the culture one step at a time.
 
“A lot of people out here are hurting and this is the healing field with people who are like minded but also who have suffered,” said Beatty. 
 
Last year, the walk raised $140,000. This year, it's raised more than $180,000.
 
 
 

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