Stepping out for cause

Willagee MLA Peter Tinley, along with fellow Members of Parliament Tony Buti, Stephen Dawson and Roger Cook, donned women�s shoes to raise money for the �Walk a mile in her shoes� campaign on May 17.

The campaign is an international men�s march to stop rape, sexual assault, family and gender-based violence.

Mr Tinley said that while his colleagues joked he was wearing �the sensible shoes�, the march was a way for men to take a stand against violence towards women.

�People would see these big beefy blokes with girl�s shoes on then they think �hang on, if those blokes are into it there must be something in this�,� Mr Tinley said.

�It is a men�s problem, not a woman�s problem, and violence against women is not just physical. It can be represented in the levels of verbal and emotional aggression towards women.

�We often think it is the stereotype beating the wife when drunk, but it�s more than that, it�s about men teaching their boys how to engage with women.

Mr Buti said the issue of family violence was at crisis point and it was the most serious law and order issue facing the nation.

�From 2010 to 2014 there has been a 76.9 per cent increase in family violence reports to police, which is phenomenal,� Mr Buti said.

�The victims were more than 70 per cent female and 10 per cent were children.

�All sectors of our society need to take a stand against violence.�

Event organiser Sandy Taylor, of East Fremantle, began planning the event last year after seeing too many violence-related stories in the news.

�I was planning on attending seminars for my business, but decided to save the money instead and put it towards this cause because there is too much violence in society,� she said.

In the past two years, the event has raised more than $28,000. There are plans to hold another march next year.