The continued annual tradition of ‘Denim Day’ was April 29, 2020, with employees from Community Memorial Hospital and its five family health centers donating money to wear denim to work.

This campaign, a one-day event, raised $115 for the Madison County Liberty Resources/Help Restore Hope Center, out of Oneida. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is every April, and community members, elected officials, employees and students are asked to make a social statement by wearing jeans on this day to protest against the misconceptions surrounding sexual violence.

In fall 2017, Community Memorial with Colgate University and the Madison County’s Liberty Resources/Help Restore Hope Center, launched the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program. The SANE program provides specially trained nurses, who offer residents of southern Madison County comprehensive medical and psychological services specifically related to sexual assault. Prior to 2017, survivors of sexual assault were required to travel 30 to 60 miles from Hamilton to access SANE services. SANE services include STD/STI testing, advocate support, counseling and forensic medical examinations that collect and secure evidence in the eventuality a survivor chooses to prosecute the perpetrator.

“The employees of Community Memorial recognize the importance of what the SANE program provides our patients, and we’re proud to support these services,” said Community Memorial President and CEO Sean Fadale. “We continue our commitment to provide quality health care close to home.”

“Liberty Resources’ Help Restore Hope Center’s relationship with Community Memorial allows us to provide life-saving services through our SANE Program,” said Brittany Flood of Liberty Resources. “Denim Day is about making everyone aware that we need to keep fighting for sexual assault victims. We are honored to receive these donations from those working on the front lines. It demonstrates just how committed our community is to ensuring victims are given a voice while making sure they are able to get the support they need during a very difficult time.”

For the past 20 years, Peace Over Violence has organized the Denim Day Campaign.

The campaign began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court. 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. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual harassment, abuse, assault and rape.

For more information about the Liberty Resources/Help Restore Hope Center or the SANE program, visit HelpRestoreHopeCenter.org or call 855.966.9723.

By martha

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