Boys in heels race to raise awareness on dating violence
LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- High school boys racing in high heels might draw laughs. But that's the idea - to draw attention to the serious topic of dating violence against women.
Dozens of students from Louisville boys' catholic high schools participated in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes project Sunday at The Assumption Green. Girls from Assumption High School have spent all year working on the Mary Byron Project. The effort promotes dating violence education and outreach through peer education.
The races Sunday ended a week's worth of educational programs on dating violence at St. Xavier, Trinity and DeSales high schools. Saint Xavier took home the coveted "golden high heel" award over rivals Trinity and DeSales.
But organizers hope the message was not lost in all the fun.
"You don't really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. And I think with the Mary Byron Project, we are doing something that is very tangible and very real - having boys race in heels," said Tommy Bell, a senior at Saint Xavier.
McKenzie Dirr, a senior at Assumption High School, is a Mary Byron scholar and has been working with the program since her sophomore year.
"It's been a really important topic to me and I'm really passionate about healthy relationships and I think everyone deserves that," Dirr said. "One in three women will experience teen dating violence and to me that's too many and that's not an acceptable number."
The Mary Byron project was named after a woman who was shot and killed by a stalker outside Mall St. Matthews in 1993. Her death helped lead to the creation of the VINE system that notifies victims of an inmate's release.