City, community leaders come together for Denim Day in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – People in Milwaukee and across the world are encouraged to wear denim on Wednesday, April 28 to support survivors and raise awareness of sexual assault.

For the 10th annual Denim Day in Milwaukee, a virtual press conference was held. Leaders say it was still extremely important to hold as domestic violence incidents in Milwaukee and across the world have increased throughout the pandemic.

“Every 73 seconds another American is sexually assaulted,” Milwaukee Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention TeAngelo Cargile Jr. said.

Domestic violence incidents rose by around eight percent through out the pandemic, but many experts believe it is more than that as many incidents go unreported.

This year, the city of Milwaukee partnered with LGBTQA+ community leaders to spread awareness and promote change.

“As with other forms of violence communities of color and LGBTQA+ communities are disproportionately impacted by sexual violence,” Milwaukee Health Department Deputy Commissioner Marlaina Jackson said.

Denim Day first began after an Italian court overturned a sexual assault sentence because the victim wore tight jeans and may have helped remove them during the assault.

“Our message is pretty straightforward, every person in our community has the power to end sexual violence,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

According to the Milwaukee Health Department, around one in three women and one in four men have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.

“Sexual assault is an incredibly pervasive issue that routinely goes unreported and unaddressed,” Jackson said. “Sexual assault awareness month is a time for us to reflect on how sexual assault affects every person in our community and to take steps to stop sexual assault.”

The city is hoping to help stop sexual violence through several programs including teaching skills on safe dating, creating safe environments at schools and workplaces and supporting survivors.

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