About Elizabeth Freeman Center:
Since 1974 Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) has provided leadership and services to address domestic and sexual violence in Berkshire County. Every day, 24 hours a day, EFC confronts the life and death issues faced by people experiencing or affected by domestic abuse and sexual assault. We are the front line and major safety net in our community for victims seeking safety and a new life.
We heard you and we changed.
For ten years Elizabeth Freeman Center participated in an international campaign called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” In the Berkshires, this event occurred every third Thursday of September and grew each year. It was our biggest and most visible event in the community.
Throughout the years, we have heard from members of our local LGBTQ+ community, friends, and allies that the nature of this event was problematic. In 2020, we solicited feedback through a survey and conversations around the event.
What became clear was that the use of red shoes to symbolize “Walk a Mile,” while encouraging cis men to participate and walk in high heels at the event, has contributed to gender stereotypes, transphobic tropes, and the devaluation of our LGBTQ+ community.
While it was never our intention, we acknowledge that we were causing harm. So, as an organization that seeks accountability every day through the services we provide, we must model accountability ourselves.
In 2021, we launched Rise Together for Safety and Justice.