Illinois College’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event raises awareness about sexual assault


Illinois College will once again host its annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on April 10, 2024 at 7 p.m. at the Ware Family Track, and community members are encouraged to attend.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a nationally-recognized event where men walk a mile in high heels to raise awareness about sexual assault. “The act of encouraging men to walk the mile in women’s shoes has a dual purpose,” Rebecca Leatherwood, assistant director of student health and wellbeing explains, “One, it symbolizes the difficulty of walking through this world in another person's shoes, and two, it makes a statement on how gender norms are changing in the lives we live today.”

Along with the actual walk, there will be activities for all participants including making signs to walk with, face painting, crafting, and other opportunities to engage in activities to increase awareness.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was created in 2001, and Illinois College has regularly hosted an event throughout the years. Due to the pandemic, the event had been put on pause, but Leatherwood is enthusiastic about making this an inclusive event for the greater Jacksonville area, inviting community partners and student organizations to participate on the day. This year’s event is generously sponsored by the following community partners: Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault, Jacksonville Police Department, and the Fraternal Order of Police. On-campus sponsors include the Chesley Health and Wellness Center, P.A.T.H., Criminal Justice Club, and the Office of Student Development. 

This event is free and open to the public, with no pre-registration required, and allows community members the opportunity to engage with IC students and share in the common thread to stand up and speak out to end gender-based violence in the community.  

“This event and other events like this are important, because they bring awareness and remove the stigma about talking about these types of issues that affect us all that we don’t talk about,” Leatherwood notes. In the United States, every 68 seconds someone is sexually assaulted.  Women ages 18-21 (traditional college student age) are at a higher risk of sexual assault and male college age students are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual violence.

To learn more about Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, visit the official website

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932, the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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