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Photo Essay: Awareness campaign lines downtown with jeans

A display of jeans hang from light posts along a major downtown artery to raise awareness for preventing sexual assault and to focus support on Denim Day.

Mayor Tom Barrett called for community-wide attention to a new effort that is raising awareness for sexual assault and supporting survivors. During the month of April, which marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month, jeans will hang from the light poles along Wisconsin Avenue between North Old World Third Street and North Prospect Avenue as part of a month-long campaign to support survivors of sexual assault.

The effort is part of Denim Day, an international awareness campaign focused on preventing sexual assault and supporting survivors.

On April 26, 2017, Milwaukee will mark its sixth annual Denim Day. For 2017, local efforts will also include the month-long denim display on Wisconsin Avenue, as well as awareness activities and events scheduled throughout the week of April 24 to 28.

“Every person in our community has the power to end sexual violence,” Mayor Barrett said. “During Sexual Assault Awareness Month I ask every individual, employer, and organization to ask themselves what they can do to end sexual violence and to pledge to support Denim Day Milwaukee.”

On Denim Day, employers are encouraged to allow employees to wear denim, and individuals are asked to pledge their support online at and through the Denim Day Milwaukee Facebook page.

The Denim Day effort is coordinated by the Office of Mayor Tom Barrett, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and more than 20 partner organizations.

These images show the length of blue jeans posted along the city’s thoroughfare. The day the photographs were taken, practically every passerby inquired as to the purpose of the blue jeans, offering a hands-on perspective of how the initiative was already promoting an important conversation.

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