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Norfolk Cops Patrolling Streets In Pink Heels (Photo)

| by Denise Recalde

Male law enforcement officials from Norfolk, Virginia, patrolled the streets wearing crimson and magenta pumps for a good cause. Their goal was to raise awareness about rape, sexual assault and gender violence. 

Chief L. Boone and Deputy Chief J. Clark wore the ladies footwear -- as increasingly more men across the country are doing -- in honor of the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. 

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes asks men to put on women's footwear and walk a mile as a fun way to raise awareness about sexual assault in local communities, Daily Mail reports. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

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According to TribLIVE, the men can wear anything from bedroom slippers to stilettos to platform shoes in order to inject some humor into an otherwise very serious issue. 

"It's our biggest fundraiser," said Joelyn Aukerman, a community outreach and administrative coordinator based in neighboring state Pennsylvania for the Blackburn Center, a shelter for domestic violence victims. 

Her organization is lending some women's shoes to male walkers, though many male participants are bringing their own shoes to the event. 

"They try to outdo each other. They go so far as to wear big, floppy hats," she said.

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The 2016 event drew more than 1,200 male walkers, about 400 of which made the walk in women's heels. 

Aukerman said that the goal for 2017 is 1,500 walkers.  

According to statistics, one in six women in the United States has been sexually assaulted, which means every person is connected to someone who has been involved in this type of abuse. 

The annual event, officially known as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence, began in 2001. 

The idea behind the event is to open discussion about how hidden and frequently forgotten the crime is in society.

Frank Baird, founder of the movement, pointed out that the women victims are not the only ones to suffer from sexual assault.

"Violence against women does not just affect women. Men are hurt and angered when women they care about are raped," his website reads.

"Men are hurt and angered when they try to develop relationships with women in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust and blame. And the same violence that targets women also targets men because rape isn't about sex, its about power, control and violence."

Sources: Daily Mail, TribLIVE / Photo credit: HeelsandFeet/Flickr, Norfolk Police Dept/Facebook via Daily Mail 

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