Three events this month aim to increase awareness about the myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual assault.

The LACASA Center helps victims of interpersonal violence and provides educational programs to increase community awareness. The local non-profit is inviting the public to take part in three different events this month to generate informed community conversation and awareness.

LACASA’s 20th annual Clothesline Project is currently underway at all six Livingston County libraries, as well as LACASA, for the entire month. It features t-shirts created by local abuse and assault victims, allowing them to tell their stories and experiences through art and powerful messages. Wednesday, April 25th marks Denim Day, another awareness event about consent and victim blaming started in 1998 as a response to a rape conviction overturned at the Italian Supreme Court. LACASA is encouraging area residents, businesses and organizations to join in Denim Day activities, an international day of activism, and wear jeans to raise awareness.

The final event is a free community forum titled “#MeToo HERE TOO” at 7pm Friday, April 27th at the Historic Howell Theater. In the age of the “Me Too” movement, LACASA Community Education Director Nicole Matthews-Creech says its important more now than ever to come together as a community and have conversations but they also need to make sure people are informed when they do have those talks. She tells WHMI while many have heard about the movement, it’s really been more focused on Hollywood, celebrities and the political realm. She says they are now hearing from everyday people and want to recognize it’s not just in the news, but here too. Another piece to the event is understanding the context of consent but also the definition and concept of sexual assault, which is much broader than many people think. Matthews-Creech says it’s beneficial to have the conversations but at a level everyone feels comfortable with and they plan to educate the community through the multi-media presentation, some video clips, an expert panel and also generalized community conversation so they can be educated and informed, and know what to say in different situations.

Details about the different events and different ways to get involved can be found through the provided link. (JM)