Men take stand against violence by donning high heels

NANAIMO – Violence against women ripples outward affecting other members of the family, especially children.

Brian Bogie marched in high heels in memory of his mother

Brian Bogie marched in high heels in memory of his mother

Violence against women ripples outward affecting other members of the family, especially children who witness aggression against a parent.

For Brian Bogie, witnessing his stepfather beat his mother left a lasting impression. His mother left the abusive relationship, taking Bogie and his younger brother with her in the mid-1970s.

Yet once she was away from the abuse, there wasn’t a support network for her to turn to for help.

“There wasn’t a real support system for her,” said Bogie. “She had to give my brother and I away, into the foster care system, while she took care of herself.”

Speaking in front of a crowd during Haven Society’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event Saturday, Bogie fought back tears as he recalled a confession his mother shared with him shortly before she died.

“She confided in me that she never got over that decision she had to make,” he said.

Once she stabilized her situation, Bogie and his younger brother returned to their mother.

Bogie walked alongside nearly 50 men in high heels Saturday. Many participants brought their family members along for support, raising the total number to about 100 participants.

The third annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march was hosted by Haven Society to raise awareness to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

Ilan Goldenblatt said the walk is important to raise awareness and stop violence against women.

“I’m horrified by the state of violence in the world and in B.C.,” he said. “This issue can’t be left to women to solve. Men have to take a stand – an unequivocal stance.”

Money raised during the walk supports Haven Society programs. Haven Society helps more than 3,500 women annually, but there are more requests for help than it can meet.

To donate to Haven Society, please go to http://havensociety.com or call 250-756-2452.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com