As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, REACH of Macon County is partnering with Main Street Coffee and Tea this Friday evening, April 26, for a special event.
Coined the “Jeans for Justice,” the event will feature a gallery of jeans made by Franklin High School freshmen that tell a story about the alarming statistics and consequences of sexual assault. The Jeans for Justice idea was first started in 1999 after a judge in Italy overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans at the time of the assault. The judge ruled that it was common knowledge that jeans were not able to be forcibly removed, therefore, despite other evidence, rape was not possible.
“Of course, sexual violence advocates, survivors, and victims understand the ignorance in this ruling,” said Jennifer Turner-Lynn of REACH. “As a result, women and men all around the world created the Jeans for Justice movement.”
At Franklin High School, the freshmen girls’ health and physical education classes created their own Jeans for Justice and wrote about their own personal struggles with sexual violence.
“We hope that guests who attend the event will walk away with an understanding that our students are experiencing one in four women will actually become a victim of sexual violence by the time they are 18,” said Turner-Lynn. “Additionally, when reading their personal stories, we hope that people understand that people who perpetrate acts of sexual violence are not the strangers that lurk in the dark but individuals that these young women trusted, oftentimes family members and friends.”
All funds generated on Friday will go directly back to help REACH continue to provide services to sexual assault survivors.
“We hope to have a huge turnout at the event,” said Turner-Lynn. “The students are so excited to see their work on display and for many survivors, this was a method of healing. I just want to say thank you to Hillary Clark Waldroup and Main Street Coffee and Tea for their willingness to host this event and work with REACH to increase awareness surrounding the issue of sexual violence.”
For more information, contact REACH of Macon County at (828)369-5544.