Healing Soles event to take a stride in effort to raise awareness about sexual violence

Flyer for Healing Soles event

An effort to elevate awareness of sexual violence will take a large stride on campus next week as the UH West Oʻahu Compliance Hui holds its “Healing Soles: Step Up Against Sexual Violence” event.

The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, and will feature a “stepping up” march around the UH West Oʻahu Courtyard and Plaza by participants wearing footwear that they would never wear (or have never worn) and that can, at times, be too painful or too uncomfortable to bear.

The donning of unfamiliar and uncomfortable shoes (or heels) serves as a symbol of difficulties faced by victims of sexual assault or domestic violence and acts as premise for the event by the Compliance Hui. The march will be followed by “step out” event in C208 for participants to show their best stepping or dance moves.

“Healing Soles” is being held in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which focuses on attention on the realities of sexual violence and the promotion of safe and respectful relationships in Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi statistics show one in seven women in Hawaiʻi has experienced completed forcible rape.  

The results of a University of Hawaiʻi survey released earlier this year found 17.8 percent of UH West Oʻahu students surveyed reported dating  and domestic violence while enrolled in school. A little more than 6 percent of students reported being victims of stalking, while 5.4 percent they had experienced sexual harassment.

The event will also feature a primary prevention presentation called “Change the Culture” by Capt. Roy Nafarette; music; vendors; and includes a prize for the most powerful sign/message that conveys the campus’ efforts to “Step up” against sexual violence.

The Healing Soles will be held in the UH West Oʻahu courtyard and in C208. The program consists of:

  • 9 to 10 a.m., Courtyard: Faculty, staff and students can register to participate in the march. Participants may bring a pair of shoes to wear or donate and practice walking in the heels or shoes they select.  A Student Music Contest will be held, with voting until 1 p.m. An emcee will read information about vendors, statistics and activities to come.
  • 10 to 11:30 a.m., C208. Capt. Roy Nafarette, U.S. Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Officer, will present “Change the Culture,” a federal program that takes a comprehensive approach to the prevention of destructive events such as sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence, hazing, bullying, and discrimination. The program promotes the prevention and elimination of destructive events and behaviors while building resiliency and positive behaviors.
  • 11:30 a.m. to noon: “Stepping Up Against Sexual Violence”- short walk around the campus courtyard to raise awareness against sexual violence, by walking in “shoes or heels” that are not usually worn (or difficult to wear!) by the participant.
  • Noon to 1 p.m.:  “Step Out” event – display signs with messages against sexual violence to C208 to win a prize. One prize for the most powerful message and a prize drawing for all participants who made signs. The judging will begin at 12:30pm.
Sign contest flyer

There also will be a sign contest rewarding the most powerful message against sexual violence and most creative 12 inch by 18 inch signs. All sign participants are eligible for a sign drawing.

Participants may win prizes by posting their event photos to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #uhwostepup or #uhwohealingsoles on their posts by the end of the event.  Winners need not be present to win. All prizes can be picked up at the Office of Compliance in B221.

The Compliance Hui  has collected approximately 40-60 pairs of shoes – mostly ranging from women’s sizes 9-12.  Anyone wishing to use a shoe from the “Hui Collection” may try on the available shoes and pre-register from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 16 and 17 in the C Building loft area. Shoes sizes and styles are extremely limited and on a “first come, first served” basis.  Don’t forget to try on a pair and reserve one for the event.

Healing Soles is the successor to Compliance Hui’s “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” event which also advocated for increased awareness about sexual violence. The UHWO Compliance Hui is a campus initiative to ensure the campus engages in necessary and appropriate awareness and programming as required by with state and federal laws and is headed by Beverly Baligad, UH West Oʻahu Director of Compliance.

For more information regarding this event please visit https://www.uhwo.hawaii.edu/compliance/healing-soles/  or email the Compliance Hui at pueohui@hawaii.edu. Also follow us on our social media pages for up to date information. You can find us @uhwocompliance on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Image courtesy of UHWO Staff