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Denim Day event encourages awareness surrounding sexual assault

Group photo in jeans

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- U.S. Air Force staff and faculty assigned to the Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee wear denim, April 28, 2021, outside Patriot Hall in support of Denim Day. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the Air National Guard’s primary training and education center in East Tennessee wore denim attire to work April 28 instead of their uniforms in support of Denim Day.

“Wearing of denim serves as our ongoing commitment to maintaining a climate of dignity and respect, as well as demonstrates a commitment to eliminate all forms of sexual violence,” said Jennifer Thomas, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program manager and response coordinator for the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month nationwide.

Thomas said that Denim Day is an international observance that addresses the falsehood that apparel choices are responsible for victims’ sexual assaults. Wearing denim expresses support to such survivors, and TEC’s SAPR Office organized the event.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes.

 The Department of Defense’s Safe Helpline, 877-995-5247, or www.safehelpline.org, is a 24/7 anonymous, confidential hotline, with one-on-one peer support, information, resources, and aid for members of the DoD and their loved ones affected by sexual assault.