Kick Up Your Heels participants Photo by Kendra Germany-Wall

The group poses for a photo after the Kick Up Your Heels Walk on April 9.

Kick Up Your Heels Walk

By Kendra Germany-Wall
May 1, 2022

Every year, the community of Durant gathers to “stomp out sexual assault” during the Kick Up Your Heels Walk.

The event encourages men to put themselves in a woman’s shoes to show support for victims of sexual violence. This year, the Choctaw Nation Family Violence Prevention Program hosted the event at the Choctaw Nation Headquarters Amphitheater on April 9. Tribal and community members, Choctaw Nation associates, police officers from surrounding communities and members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol all gathered to show support for the cause.

Men are invited to don high heels for this annual walk, which aims to support victims and educate men about the sexual violence women in America face every day. The theme this year was “The Power of Support.”

According to the Department of Justice, every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation also stated that in 2020, Oklahoma law enforcement agencies, including tribal law enforcement, reported 2,245 forcible and attempted rapes.

Kick Up Your Heels participants
Photo by Kendra Germany-Wall

Participants in the walk carry signs with messages advocating for consent and demanding change.

Photos by Kendra Germany-Wall

“The Choctaw Nation supports its community partners and takes a strong stance against domestic and sexual violence,” said Anna Marcy, Program Manager, Family Violence Prevention. “We want participants to come out and show these victims we are willing to walk in their shoes, so these victims don’t feel isolated.”

The Choctaw Nation Family Violence Prevention Program supports victims of family violence by providing crisis intervention services, advocacy, legal advocacy, counseling and emergency housing in some cases. In addition, victims receiving services through the program can receive in-home education and advocacy to address and stop intergenerational violence, according to Marcy. The program can provide services to any victim of domestic violence within the CNO reservation regardless of whether the victim is affiliated with a tribe.

On March 10, 2022, Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and expanded tribal jurisdiction to include non-Indian persons who commit crimes related to child violence, sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, obstruction of justice, and assaults on tribal justice personnel. This Congressional expansion of tribal jurisdiction allows tribes to prosecute in their Courts non-Indian persons who victimize tribal members.

Anyone residing within the boundaries of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma who has been a victim of family violence can contact Choctaw Nation Children and Family Services at 800-522-6170 for information and assistance. For those residing off CNO’s tribal lands, the State of Oklahoma has established the Oklahoma SafeLine, a confidential, toll-free, 24-hour hotline for Oklahomans seeking help or information about domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. To reach SafeLine, call (800) 522-SAFE (7233).