Kristin Bantle: Wear denim to support victims of sexual assault
As a board member for Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, I am deeply passionate about ending the national epidemic of sexual assault by celebrating Colorado Denim Day. The origin of denim day can be read by visiting uwosh.edu/care/denim-day/history-of-denim-day and was conceived in 1998 when an Italian judge overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans.
One of the many misconceptions surrounding sexual assault is that she must have wanted it, she asked for it, it is her fault, her clothes were provocative, she was intoxicated or she didn’t say no. These misconceptions lead to victim blaming, shaming and guilt.
When almost 90 percent of sexual abuse is not reported, sexual assault thrives. It thrives when it is not taken seriously. When victims are not believed or services within our community are not inclusive to be welcoming, safe and consistent, we are doing a disservice to the most vulnerable.
I personally know how difficult it can be to stand up for the right thing. I have known women that tried to come forward and who were talked out of reporting an assault because “his reputation” was on the line. Far too often, women are retaliated against for standing up to their perpetrator. But the reality is, if we don’t stand up, if we don’t hold perpetrators accountable, it says one thing: that behavior is OK, and it is never OK.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual assault, please contact these community resources; Advocates at 970-879-8888 or RAINN at 1-800-656-4673.
Help to end the misconceptions of sexual assault. Wear denim April 25. Show solidarity for survivors, hope for victims and strength for our community.
CCASA board member
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