On April 29th, 2020, millions of humans will wear denim to bring awareness to sexual abuse. The very first United States Denim Day was held in Los Angeles in 1999 and has continued annually since.
All too often we read about sexual abuse cases that are handled in unjust ways due to many reasons. If there's any glimmer of hope that we can give to our community it is simply to hope to aid in the continued discussion of these incredibly challenging topics and welcome them with understanding ears and open hearts.
For the past 21 years, Peace Over Violence has run an inspiring and powerful opportunity to practice solidarity and support survivors by renewing our commitment to exposing harmful behaviors and attitudes surrounding sexual violence. Denim Day is a campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The campaign began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, what started as a local campaign to bring awareness to victim-blaming and destructive myths that surround sexual violence has grown into a movement. As the longest-running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. The article found here.
Here you will find South Dakota's many resources for Sexual Assault Services. (Click Here). As a reminder, Chelsea's supports a yearly non-profit, and in 2020, we are supporting A Different Kind of Lifeguard. We believe that this non-profit, revolving around mental health, goes hand-in-hand with supporting the awareness of sexual assault. The founder of ADKoL is our very own Jill Turbak.
In Jill's words: "A Different Kind of Lifeguard’s “I WILL NOT GIVE UP” campaign has reached thousands around the world and became a battle cry for those who have made the pledge to not give up on themselves or others who are struggling. ADKOL’s newest campaign “STILL HERE” focuses on those who have survived a suicide attempt and they hope to soon be able to share stories of community members who are working towards recovery."