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‘Healing Together’ exhibit offers opportunity for sexual assault survivors to share their artwork and raise awareness

Katie Thoresen

You may have noticed more people wearing denim Wednesday.

Sexual abuse victim advocates encouraged people to wear denim in support of survivors.

A defense seen in some assault cases is that a victim “asked for it” by wearing certain clothing.

Denim Day began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.

Denim Day has now become a national movement and is recognized in more than 100 countries.

“It takes the accountability away from the perpetrator and puts the blame on the victim. No matter what a person is wearing it does not give the right or give consent to be violated,” said Angela, Tri-County Council Sexual Assault Program Coordinator.

In another show of support for survivors, Tri-County Council also has an art exhibit at ArtStart in Rhinelander called “Healing Together.”

This is the first time Tri-County has put together an exhibit. It features 20 pieces of artwork created by sexual assault survivors.

Angela says art is a common way to help survivors heal.

“Art can be very therapeutic and healing which is part of the reason why we did it, but also to help raise awareness about sexual assault,” she said. “Some of the artwork was done right after their incident and some of it was done years later. It kind of represents where they are in their healing.”

The exhibit is open Thursday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Tri-County Council supports domestic and sexual abuse survivors in Oneida, Vilas, and Forest Counties.

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