THE old saying that you must walk a mile in someone's shoes to understand what they are going through was put to the test by men who took to the city's streets in high heels.

Twenty five people, including students, lecturers and firefighters, wore stilettos, wedge or kitten heels to support the Walk a Mile In Her Shoes Campaign in Worcester.

For many of those walking - and those who saw them - it may have felt a bit silly but the purpose of the walk is extremely serious.

It is an international men's one mile march to stop rape, sexual abuse and gender violence and Thursday's walk was organised by University of Worcester.

It was the first time it has been held in the city and came on the last day of the White Ribbon 16 Days of Action campaign which began on Wednesday, November 25.

Martin Lakeman, strategic co-ordinator for the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, and a White Ribbon Ambassador, donned a pair of four-inch heels to take part.

He said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for men to literally step into women's shoes and acknowledge that domestic violence disproportionately affects women.

"The walk is symbolic. It is done in many, many places in many, many countries.

"It interesting because the walk is very visible and attracts a lot of attention and in Worcester we have people who came and asked what we were doing and thought it was really quite impressive.

"It draws attention to the campaign and we interacted with a number of people who had been victims of domestic violence and interacted with people who wanted more information.

"It was very successful and we will build on that next year."

Mr Lakeman said support on social media for the walk had been quick and far reaching with one man in Australia getting in touch to congratulate them within ten minutes of the walk.

Three marches took place in Worcestershire including the city one, another in Redditch and a walk organised by Heart of Worcestershire students and lecturers.

"There are many people suffering in silence and the average domestic violence victim does not report it until the 35th incident.

"We have a 24-hour helpline which is for men suffering silence too.

"It does affect them too and the helpline is accessible to them."

Almost 5,000 people have signed the White Ribbon pledge in Worcestershire, a massive 22-23 per cent of those who have signed nationally, and there is still time for others to sign up too.

To sign, log on to

If you're in need of help and support either call the Worcestershire 24 hour domestic abuse helpline on 0800 980 3331 (for both men and women) or Worcestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre's Helpline on 01905 724514.