COEUR d'ALENE - Men will have an opportunity in Coeur d'Alene this weekend to show their toughness in an unusual way - by slipping on a pair of high heels and marching in support of a commitment against violence toward women.
Saturday marks the annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" rally to raise awareness about the prevention of domestic and sexual violence.
The fundraiser will benefit the North Idaho Violence Prevention Center, which offers counseling and other resources for victims of violence, and the Human Rights Education Institute.
Same-day registration opens at 10 a.m. at the institute, 414 W. Mullan Road, at the eastern edge of City Park.
The quarter-mile march begins at 11 a.m. and will lead from the institute through the park.
A donation of $30 is suggested for participation. A selection of high heels will be available, or men can bring their own.
The lighthearted exercise has a serious point: raising awareness and enlisting men as allies in the fight against violence.
The institute will host a celebration afterward, with food and speakers.
"Violence against women is at the core of North Idaho Violence Prevention Center's work," said Joe Robinson, the center's executive director. "The only way stopping that violence is going to happen is if men, as a community of men, take part in the effort."
The event is a call for continued empowerment of men as allies, urging them to abide by counsel of the national violence-prevention slogan, "See something, say something."
Robinson encourages area men to participate, and to bring their sons to the event, as he plans to do with his own boys, to "model and educate the younger generation" about their responsibility for stopping violence against women.