Sheriff: Kewaunee County events recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness month
The month of April is designated in the State of Wisconsin as Sexual Assault Awareness month.
For those who have been impacted by the brutality of these senseless acts, the pain and suffering never truly vanishes. Historically the victimization of these crimes did not end with the act itself but unfortunately was further perpetrated by a culture of secrecy and transferred blame on the part of those who were attacked rather than the attacker.
For many years these crimes were minimized or even justified based on the condition of the victim or even in some cases the very clothing that she or he was wearing at the time of the attack.
Fortunately, those days are over and we as a society have come to recognize the severity of sexual assault for what it is.
We have striven to provide the greatest possible support for the victims while working toward the most severe level of accountability for the perpetrators.
We have opened channels of communication to those who have had to live in the shadows of victimization, allowing their voices to finally be heard.
One of the organizations that has been instrumental in this transformation is our own Kewaunee County Violence Intervention Project. Having personally worked alongside these amazing advocates for change, I can attest to both their courage and their dedication in the area of victim support and community awareness.
During this month of April, there will be events held to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault and to the many that have been and continue to be impacted.
April 24 will have the second annual “Hands Around” event. It will be held at the Kewaunee County Human Services Building and will begin at 3:30 p.m. This event is intended to bring attention to not only sexual assault victims but also those affected by child abuse as well.
April 25, we will be recognizing International Denim Day. This event began as a call to action after a court in Italy failed to convict in a sexual assault case due to the fact that the victim was wearing denim pants. It was the opinion at the time that there was consent because no person could have removed the jeans without the assistance of the wearer. That case was later overturned.
At 10:30 a.m. May 5, the Violence Intervention Project will be offering free self-defense classes at Kewaunee High School. This event is meant to not only teach various techniques in self-defense but also to instill a sense of self-confidence. This course is offered to anyone ages 12 and older.
Please take the time to join in supporting those affected by these senseless acts and bringing a greater awareness to our need as a society to rid our communities of both sexual assault and child abuse.
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County Sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Sheriff: Kewaunee County events recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness month