Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Mayor Barrett Supports Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign

Annual display of jeans will line Wisconsin Avenue to raise awareness for sexual assault

By - Apr 12th, 2018 02:53 pm

MILWAUKEE – Mayor Tom Barrett is calling for communitywide attention to the month-long effort that is raising awareness for sexual assault and supporting survivors. During the month of April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, jeans will hang from the light poles along Wisconsin Ave from 3rd Street west to The Calling Sculpture by the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The effort is part of Denim Day, an international awareness campaign focused on raising awareness about sexual assault and victim blaming. Milwaukee will mark its seventh annual Denim Day on April 25, 2018.

Efforts will be expanded this year to Denim Week, which includes a full week of community events April 23 – 28.

“Ending sexual violence is a communitywide effort,” Mayor Barrett said. “During Sexual Assault Awareness Month I ask every individual, employer, and organization to fulfill their commitment to ending sexual violence by partaking in a variety of activities through Denim Day Milwaukee.”

Employers are encouraged to allow employees to wear denim, and individuals are asked to pledge their support online at denimdaymke.org and through the Denim Day Milwaukee Facebook page.

There are many ways to get involved in Denim Week to spread this important message:

  • Organize Denim Day activities at your business or organization on April 25. Visit denimdaymke.org to register your organization as a participant. You can also access materials and ideas on how to get involved.
  • Attend local events. Visit denimdaymke.org for a list of events to mark Denim Week.
  • Engage on social media. During Denim Week, use the #denimdayMKE and #metooMKE hashtags to share photos, activities, and words of encouragement.
  • Advance the goals in Milwaukee’s Blueprint for Peace. Visit the City of Milwaukee Health Department Office of Violence Prevention at www.414LIFE.com or www.milwaukee.gov/staysafe.

The Denim Day effort is coordinated by the Office of Mayor Tom Barrett, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and more than 20 partner organizations.

Learn more about getting involved at denimdaymke.org.

About Denim Day

The Denim Day movement was inspired by a 1999 court case in Italy. A woman was raped by her driving instructor. The perpetrator’s conviction was overturned by Italy’s highest court. The Court reasoned that because the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have assisted the perpetrator in removing them, thereby giving consent. Infuriated with this outcome, allies worldwide dedicated a day to wearing jeans, sparking dialogue about this issue while visibly and vocally supporting survivors of sexual violence.

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