Denim Day to bring awareness during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month |

Denim Day to bring awareness during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County residents can do their part to raise awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

The Advocates Building Peaceful Communities nonprofit based in Steamboat Springs is organizing local sexual assault awareness efforts, which will include a Denim Day and a proclamation made by the city council.

One in five women and one in 71 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their life, according to the proclamation. Youth between the ages of 12 and 18 are two and a half times more likely to become victims.

“Prevention can be helped by awareness of the community,” Advocates Executive Director Lisel Petis said.

People will be encouraged to wear denim on April 25 during the local Denim Day.

Denim Day is part of an international movement to support survivors and educate the public by wearing jeans.

Petis said Denim Day was started after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court, in which a rape conviction was overturned.

The judges felt the woman must have consented to the act because her jeans were so tight that she must have helped the rapist take them off. The next day, women in the Italian Parliament came to work in denim to show support for the victim.

Advocates will be promoting the local Denim Day.

“I think it’s a great way to show support, and it’s an easy way to do it,” Petis said.

Advocates will also be promoting a campaign that is being called “Speak Up. Speak Out.”

“I think it speaks volumes for the victim of any crime,” Petis said.

There will be trivia questions and giveaways on the Advocates Facebook page.

Advocates serves about 300 domestic violence victims annually.

Petis started work as the new Advocates executive director Monday.

Advocates is currently searching for volunteers to work its crisis line and serve on its board.

“You can speak up and speak out by joining Advocates,” Petis said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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