I am wearing denims – are you?
Yes – I have been a victim of sexual assault. When I first shared what happened to me, I felt shame and guilt. Many of us keep quiet only not to hurt the person we know and love. Others do it out of fear. When we hold our silence for days, months and perhaps years, it can fester to more emotional pain and disease.
So what is sexual assault?
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and today April 26 is Denim Day.
Why? Because it is a call to action for all people to come together by wearing denim as a visible sign of protest against sexual violence. By participating you can play a role in the prevention of sexual violence. Every year we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion and on April 26th to wear jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
Denim Day was originally triggered by 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 her rapist 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. Denim Day was developed in response to this case and wearing jeans during this annual event has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.
As news of the decision spread, so did the protest. In April 1999, a social service agency in Los Angeles established the first Denim Day in the United States.
Sexual assault can happen anywhere and by anyone – it can happen in the safety of your own home, school, work or in a car. But what you must understand is keeping it quiet and feeling shame does nothing but hurt you over and over.
As a Hypnotherapist and Domestic Abuse Consultant, I work with you to not only recognize signs of abuse, but re-learn to stand UP for yourself, build your confidence and find ways to make changes within. My vigilance and passion in helping YOU heal within is quite personal and strong. I want you to know You are not alone.
Follow me on FaceBook