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Men trade in sneakers for high heels to raise awareness of domestic violence

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TWC News: Men trade in sneakers for high heels to raise awareness of domestic violence
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WINSTON-SALEM--Hundreds of brave men traded in their sneakers for high heels on Saturday at BB&T Ballpark, not for kicks, but for a cause.

They walked a mile in high heels as part of the "Mile in Her Shoes" event, an international men's march to raise awareness about rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

"It's a humbling experience for a man,” said Winston-Salem State University student D'Andre Barnes.

"Domestic violence is a very traumatic experience,” explained Lloyd Leonard, who serves as rape prevention coordinator for Family Services. “Women are victims every 45 seconds."

Organizers said one in six women will be a victim of sexual violence.

"It really brings it home for me, because I have two sisters, and I do a lot for them. It feels right to support non-violence against women,” Barnes said.

"Domestic violence is ingrained at a young age, so the younger you get people out here and spread the word that there's no excuse for abuse, the better,” said Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill.

That's why members of Wake Forest University's baseball team walked, to serve as examples for the younger crowd.

"As leaders on our campus and in our community, it's an obligation for us to be here and stand up for this cause,” said team member Jake Maziar.

A lot of the men at the event said that walking a mile in high heels was no easy task, but they add that it was worth it for a cause they're so passionate about.

“It was a killer!” Leonard said. “But you know what? It helps me empathize with what women have to go through every day with being a possible victim of domestic violence."

Participants raised more than $20,000 dollars at this year's event.

That money goes to Family Services, a non-profit organization that helps victims of domestic violence.

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