Men put best foot forward to combat violence against women - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Men put best foot forward to combat violence against women

Isaac Lipscomb Isaac Lipscomb
UH Women's Center Pau Violence Program director, Leslie Cabingabang UH Women's Center Pau Violence Program director, Leslie Cabingabang
coach Norm Chow coach Norm Chow

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last month, officials at the University of Hawaii-Manoa received their first-ever report of an alleged date rape drug used on campus. Coincidentally Wednesday, the UH Women's Center sponsored a march – inviting supporters, primarily men, to walk the proverbial mile in a woman's shoes. The goal? To raise awareness of violence against women.

Judging from the crowd, there are some things that women just do better than men – like walk in high heels. "It was painful, man. It was rough. I don't know how girls do it!" says Isaac Lipscomb with a laugh.  He braved three-inch heels ... as he and dozens of other men joined in the march. The annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event is unfolding on college campuses around the country.

"Hopefully, the conscious men can let some of the guys that are doing this know that it's not right and that we won't stand for it," says Lipscomb.

Their timing couldn't be better. Just a couple of weeks ago, a female student at UH reported to security that she started chatting with two men at a campus bar. They offered her a glass of whiskey. She blacked out and woke up, hours later, in a strange man's apartment. The Sex Abuse Treatment Center confirms she was abused, and UH officials are investigating it as a possible "date rape drug" case. If it's true, it's the kind of incident these advocates want stopped.

"A reminder, too, that any form of sex without consent is rape," says UH Women's Center Pau Violence Program director, Leslie Cabingabang, "and we need to send that message out and make sure that the college campus community knows that we have resources here for them."

Even UH's new head football coach put his best foot forward. "… disappointing, major problem that occurs," says coach Norm Chow. "Had some things hit home with some relatives that made you realize, the men are, it's just a cowardly act of violence and maybe by showing up, we can help a bit."

A women's center survey finds 10% of female students at UH experience sex assault, stalking, or partner violence. So, awkward or not, the guys at this march are man enough to fill these big shoes for the cause.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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