Well, this post is a shout out to hubby and some great men and women. Tonight, my dearest came home limping and complaining about his feet. He also came home with a shoe box that looked far too feminine even for my tastes. In it were a pair of red shiny pumps, which he used to race several men at a kick off of a very new, but very worthwhile and hilarious fundraiser Walk a Mile in Her Shoes for the White Ribbon Campaign. I gave him the thumbs up and gave him the "poor bunny" look, and then secretly snickered behind his back...I'm a good wife, not a PERFECT wife.
That said, the subject of violence against women isn't a funny one. It's one that is notoriously hard to call attention to. No one really wants to acknowledge it and it takes a great deal of strength and determination for women to come out and speak against it. Earlier this month, the police chief of Belleville Cory McMulllan came to the table to bright to light the crimes against her in her home at the hands of her husband. In doing so, she has served as a powerful beacon for everyone to shout out that this isn't a problem reserved for a certain class, type, race or creed of person. It's not something that is isolated in the wilds of some remote nation, nor is it reserved for people of a certain religion.
Bear with me, I'm about to do math. 1 in 4 Canadian women is a victim of gender based violence. That's 25% of say 17 million women, which is 4 million, 250 thousand, a million short of the population of the GTA. That's a hell of a lot of women, but we don't hear much on the issue do we? It's swept under the rug because it's a dirty little secret, women feel ashamed, unsupported and abusers sure as heck aren't going to talk about it, even though our criminal justice system is not exactly tough on these guys.
My dearest hubby got involved in the campaign because of me. A nasty piece of work for a father and an abusive boyfriend as I slowly opened up to DH over the years has made me one of those women. However in the 17 years we've been together, the bad dreams, the fears, the anxiety have slowly ebbed away and I'm the cheeky piece of work I am today. EVERY man knows and cares about a woman who has been a victim, even if he doesn't know who.
DH has kept up his work and has been working with the WRC since the mid 90s. He's committed to raising money, and spreading the word about violence against women and men's responsibility to participate in efforts to end it. Through education, supplying resources, outreach and insane stunts, which will one day see dearest in the hospital with a broken ankle, they have done amazing work from being a small grassroots organization, to one that sees the Executive Director flying off to amazing places to spread awareness, the team working hard to spread the word to young men and women, boys and girls in schools and the board trying to get as many men on the ground, in heels raising funds for all of this to happen. Sorry, giant run on sentence!
Last year was the first event, it did amazingly well, and this year needs to be better. God willing it will be warmer, since I nearly died last year, despite the heckling. Dearest needs more heckle...uh supporters. Actually, Dearest needs more men to walk with him to diffuse the target on his back. And for that, I call upon my friends, family, associates, partners in crime and people who owe me (you know who you are!) Get your man out in heels, don't have one? You've got to have a friend, coworker, brother, father, someone who is willing to strap on a pair. Since DH has graduated, he is no longer in the cute mary jane mules I got for him, but an unholy pair of red patent leather, but you can start your guy off in something easier...or if you're tired of him leaving his socks on the floor, payback!
That said, it's a great cause, it's a great time and it's a great way to bring awareness to a serious issue and drive home the message that there are indeed men do care about women being abused, but there needs to be more.
Check it out! September 30th, 12pm, Dundas Square. Register here!
Dearest has laid down the gauntlet and challenges people to raise more than he does this year.