To the editor of THE EAGLE:
The third annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event will take place Thursday during Pittsfield's Third Thursday festival. The walk is an opportunity for the men of Berkshire County to make a clear and visible statement in opposition to domestic violence and sexual abuse while at the same time raising money to support the vitally important programs and services of the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
I had the privilege to wobble up and down North Street in my conservative black pumps as a participant in the inaugural walk in 2011 and was impressed by the number of men from all walks of life who stepped forward to present a strong presence that said no to domestic violence and sexual assault. Yes, this is an issue that heavily and directly impacts women but it is also an issue that affects men who find such incidents appalling, offensive and unacceptable. This is an issue that reflects negatively on the communities of Berkshire County.
The walk, then, is a tangible way for men to honor and uphold the right of women to control their own bodies, articulate their feelings, and have their voices and opinions heard and respected. Those rights cannot and should not be denied in any way, but especially not through inexcusable and cowardly acts of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Men are invited and encouraged to come out once again in even larger numbers to participate in the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event. If you are physically unable to make the one-mile trek then I urge you to attend the event as enthusiastic spectators making generous financial contributions when the bucket brigade passes by and in that way show your support for the women of our 32 Berkshire County communities. DONALD L. TAYLOR