LACASA Center will host three events in April to increase awareness about the myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual assault. Events include the Clothesline Project, Denim Day, and the screening of a locally-produced documentary “Every Two Minutes.” April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The mission of LACASA includes helping victims of interpersonal violence and providing educational programs to increase community awareness.
Libraries across Livingston County will participate in LACASA’s 21st annual Clothesline Project. The month-long project features displays of T-shirts created by local abuse victims, which convey powerful messages about their experiences and their messages to abusers.
The Clothesline Project, which was started by a group of women from Massachusetts in 1990, is a way for abuse and assault victims to tell their stories through art. Libraries hosting displays include Brighton Area District Library, Fowlerville District Library, Hamburg Library,Hartland Cromaine Library, Howell Carnegie Library, and Pinckney Community Library.
On Wednesday, April 24, LACASA invites area residents, businesses and organizations to join in its Denim Day activities as another way to raise awareness about consent and sexual assault in April.
Denim Day is an international day of activism, which was sparked when an Italian court overturned a rape conviction. The judges said that because a victim wore tight jeans, she must have helped the assailant remove them, thereby implying consent. This 1999 legal decision triggered worldwide outrage, and Denim Day emerged as a way to raise awareness about consent and victim blaming.
Individuals and organizations can obtain free Denim Day awareness stickers and posters from LACASA via pick up or mail. LACASA also provides ideas on its website about ways individuals and organizations can get involved locally.
Special screening at Howell Theater
The third awareness event is set for Friday, April 26, when LACASA hosts a film screening of the documentary “Every Two Minutes.” The film, produced by former MSU student, sexual assault survivor and advocate, Laura E. Swanson, highlights the unspoken issue of sexual assault through interviews with survivors, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Along with survivor stories, the film shares interviews with therapists, nurses, police, and sexual assault advocates.
Doors to this free event open at 7 p.m. and the film begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Historic Howell Theater, 315 E. Grand River Ave., Howell. Space is limited and guests are encouraged to arrive early to secure complementary admission tickets and preferred seating.
Following the film, a panel discussion will include survivors, a therapist from the film, and producer/survivor Laura E. Swanson.
For information about any of LACASA’s awareness programs, visit lacasacenter.org, or contact Community Education Director Nicole Matthews-Creech at 517-548-1350.