Hi my name is Paula Schoenberg and I am the Outreach Services Director for Family Advocates, I work with survivors of sexual violence. In June I will have been with the agency for 18 years. I have seen many changes and learned many things from the individuals I work with. Most of the work I do is in Iowa and Grant Counties which includes the UW-Platteville campus. In my role I provide free and confidential peer counseling, which includes support, encouragement and making sure to listen to whatever the survivor needs are. Whether it is accompanying an individual to report to law enforcement, to have an SANE (sexual assault nurse exam) done, or during the court process. We are not mandated reporters so this insures that the survivor is able to take control of the next steps they need to heal by talking through the process and resources with us.
Today I want to make everyone aware of Denim Day, observed Wednesday April 28 of this year. An International Day of awareness for survivors of sexual violence: https://www.denimdayinfo.org/why-denim. For the past 22 years, Peace Over Violence has run an inspiring and powerful opportunity to practice solidarity and support survivors by renewing our commitment to exposing harmful behaviors and attitudes surrounding sexual violence. The campaign began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, what started as a local campaign to bring awareness to victim blaming and destructive myths that surround sexual violence has grown into a movement. As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans Wednesday April 28th, as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.
Will you join us? Please post a selfie on Facebook or Instagram and tag Family Advocates, Inc. Thank you in advance for your support.