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Local nonprofit brings awareness to sexual assault on Denim Day 2024

Denim Day 2024
Posted at 4:22 PM, Apr 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-24 18:39:55-04

SOUTHERN COLORADO — Wednesday marked Denim Day across the world, a day dedicated to bringing awareness to sexual assault.

The day takes place on the last Wednesday of April every year. Victim advocates wear denim to raise awareness about sexual violence and to combat victim blaming.

The local nonprofit Finding Our Voices was at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Wednesday to share resources and break down the stigma of speaking out against sexual assault.

"We are just trying to advocate to the public to understand what goes on with sexual assault survivors," said Aubrey. "We're showing art that we do, we're making art."

Some of the services include support groups, writing groups, and art sessions to help survivors.

"At 84 years old, people keep saying to me 'how can you keep doing this? Aren't you depressed?' No! this is not depressing," said Joyce Aubrey, Founder of Finding Our Voices. "We work with survivors to achieve post-traumatic growth and in post-traumatic growth, you get stronger."

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed, attempted or alcohol/drug-facilitated rape.

According to the survey, 42% of victims experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18.

The 2010 NISVS indicates the lifetime prevalence of sexually violent acts other than rape for women in Colorado is 47.4% versus 44.6% in the nation. For men, Colorado is 26.5% versus 22.2% across the nation.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that men and women with a lifetime history of rape, physical violence, or stalking report physical health issues such as frequent health, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, and activity limitations.

According to a 2019 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey Report, which was completed by more than 45,000 students at almost 200 schools, 10.1% of female students and 3.4% of male students reported being physically forced into having sexual intercourse when it was not wanted.

Denim Day comes from a court ruling in Italy, where justices overturned a rape conviction in the 1990s because the victim wore tight jeans when she was attacked.


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