David Amborn says it’s been more than 50 years since he’s tried on a pair of high heels.
"I guess when I was a little boy, I’d gone into mom’s closet and tried ‘em on and gave ‘em a little test walk around," Amborn said.
That test walk may pay off for Amborn as he walks a mile in four-inch, red high heels on Thursday as a part of Riverfest. The first-time La Crosse event is part of a national campaign to march against domestic violence.
"The whole idea being that they would be uncomfortable. They would go to great lengths to tell others that they’re against domestic violence," said Mary Kay Wolf, Executive Director of the YWCA.
The YWCA is a human services organization in La Cross County that helps women and children in the community.
"There’s an issue with domestic abuse and violence everywhere," Wolf said. "It’s not any particularly worse in La Crosse…but it is bad here.”
Wolf says more than 2,100 domestic violence cases were reported in La Crosse County in 2009. About 90-95% of abusers are men. That’s why Wolf says it’s important for the message to stop abuse come from men.
"We didn’t wanna do another dinner. We didn’t want to do another silent auction. We didn’t want to try and raise awareness the same old way," Wolf said.
So the men will slip into their red, high heels and walk two laps around the loop in Riverside Park. The event is also a fundraiser for the YWCA and Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation’s Carilee Fund. Both organizations help hundreds of domestic violence survivors in the 7 Rivers Region each year.
"We’re gonna be making a statement that we support the women of this community, that we oppose the sexual assaults, the domestic violence that they all too frequently are the victims of," Amborn said.
Amborn says his feet will probably ache for days after walking a mile in her shoes, but he says it’s not even close to the pain domestic violence victims go through.
“It affects all of us regardless of one’s position in the community," Amborn said.
And he says he can’t wait to help raise awareness of such an important issue.
If you guys would like to slip on a pair of red high heels and support the cause, you still can. Although online registration has closed, you can register on Thursday starting at 10 a.m. in Riverside Park. The walk begins at 5 p.m. You can also pledge to support someone who's walking.
For more information on the event, www.walkamilelacrosse.org.