Walk a mile in her shoes SWLA , Men in heels

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Walk A Mile In Her Shoes SWLA is a branch of the national program Walk a Mile In Her Shoes. Today, September 17, 2011), the event at West Prien Lake Mall in Lake Charles, LA highlighted issues within domestic and sexual violence in our community. However, the focus the event highlights is on Sexual Abuse.

There were more than 100 men who put on high heel shoes to support the cause. Their families also came out to cheer the mile walk these men did in an effort to say "Men are standing up against sexual violence".  Both Mayors from Lake Charles and Sulphur were on hand.

Domestic violence can include anything from violence that is verbal, physical, emotional and financial control.

Sexual abuse can happen anywhere and to anyone.

Tammy Vincent, RN Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, coordinates the sexual assault nurse examiner program. Vincent says it is very important that sexual abuse victims report and get a medical exam within 72 hours of an assault. However, coming in as soon as they can is better than not reporting at all.

Nina Delone, Director of Rape Crisis Outreach Calcasieu Parish provides counseling to victims.

It is important to note that Sexual Abuse and Domestic Abuse isn't just something that happens to women. Men also have these issues with not only same-sex partners but with women partners. The numbers for men are not as great but the problem does exist. Officials say that just this past month, a few men have come into the Calcasieu Women's Shelter seeking advice and counsel.

Unfortunately, there are no abuse shelters for men at this time. Women's shelters and crisis centers often refer men victims to places like the Salvation Army or local hotels so they may receive refuge. Retired Judge H. Ward Fontenot says men have the same rights to expect to not be abused or harmed by anyone. However, he does say the resources for men just aren't there because of the low numbers of men being abused being reported.

Today's event raised lots of money. This was the first year for Walk A Mile In Her Shoes SWLA. Event organizers hope to continue the Sexual Abuse awareness momentum.