It's a sign of spring in Central New York: Men are sprouting white ribbons on their lapels, and some of them are also walking around downtown Syracuse in high heels.
It is Vera House's annual campaign to raise awareness on domestic violence issues.
George Kilpatrick, men's outreach coordinator, says the outreach is aimed at making everyone aware of what constitutes abuse--not just violence, but also verbal abuse and even controlling behaviors.
The week's activities include the campaign kickoff breakfast, Tuesday morning at the Holiday Inn Electronics Parkway, starting at 7:30am. The 'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' walk (where men show off their skills at walking in high heels) is at noon Friday, in Syracuse's Clinton Square. School groups and representatives of organizations that 'get it' about domestic violence will also be walking.
And, this year, the white ribbons have an upgrade: they're metal lapel pins instead of cloth loops. And instead of an actual white ribbon, there are also chocolate lollypops, shaped like ribbons, and candy bars (light and dark chocolate) to eat your way toward more domestic violence awareness.
For more on this visibility campaign, and on the serious concerns and programs dealing with domestic violence, check the Vera House website. And if there are abuse concerns, a 24x7 support is at 468-3260