April 19, 2019 – Hartford, WI – Hartford City Administration helped hang painted jeans throughout Downtown Hartford to raise awareness for Denim Day and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“This week, the City of Hartford joins communities nation-wide in showing support for Peace over Violence, an anti-sexual assault and violence group,” said Hartford City Administrator, Steve Volkert. “Locally, the Hartford Medical Center Foundation works with local women who have been victimized by sexual assault in coming forward, identifying the suspect and helping to put them in jail.”
This month Hartford neighbors gathered at Faith & Giggles Gift Shop to paint inspirational messages on the denim jeans in preparation for hanging them downtown and for Denim Day. “When they are seen, people in the community are reminded or encouraged to give donations to or support a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence,” said Deb Holtan, Executive Director of the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford (MCF).
Denim Day, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness for rape and sexual assault, has been Holtan’s passion the past five years. She has organized and led Denim Day with the help of MCF and various businesses within the Hartford community. Denim Day Paint Night has been hosted previously by Faith and Giggles, Creative License, and within Aurora Hospital.
“…[We] are thrilled the City of Hartford will be displaying these jeans throughout the downtown,” said Wendy Smith, owner of Faith and Giggles. “Everyone knows someone who’s been affected by this type of abuse, therefore it does affect us all and everyone should contribute in some way; whether it’s donating to the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford…Friends, Inc. in West Bend, or participating in events…that support these organizations…everyone can do something and we’re proud to have that opportunity to do so.”
Friends Inc., Washington County’s resource for domestic violence and sexual assault, is leading Denim Day in West Bend and Holtan hopes Denim Day can continue to grow in Washington County. “We are just trying to get more people involved and to realize the need of support that’s out there,” she said.
The official Denim Day campaign is Wednesday, April 24. According to City Administrator Volkert, “employees will be allowed to wear jeans to show their support.”
The jeans will be hung in Hartford until April 30.
Aside from Denim Day, FRIENDS INC. has also created a months worth of activities and events to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Events include Texas Roadhouse fundraising night (mention FRIENDS and have 10% of your bill donated), free FRIENDS coffee sleeves, and Glow Yoga. For more information on a specific event, please call 262-334-7298 or click HERE to read more about SAAM.
Photo Credit: Deb Holtan