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USF Community Unites Against Gender Violence

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi and local survivor Melissa Dohme headline Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event aimed at stopping violence against women.

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2014) – University of South Florida students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community came together on Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater for an event to combat sexual assault and gender violence.

Inspired by the idea that you cannot truly understand the experiences of others until you have walked a mile in their shoes, men from USF and other community members proclaimed their commitment to end violence against women by slipping on high heels and participating in USF’s annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®. The annual event is coordinated by the student organization N.I.T.E. and in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In addition to the march, attendees heard from inspirational guest and local survivor Melissa Dohme, whose story has made national headlines in recent years. Men in attendance took the REAL (Relationship Equality and Anti-violence League) Men’s Promise, which was led by Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. The Promise is a commitment for men to stand up against violence towards women and the culture that supports it.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is an educational, empowering, and unique event sponsored by N.I.T.E. in partnership with the USF Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention, with support from USF Athletics, Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay and the Tampa Bay Rays.

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation.Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

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