How can you help spread awareness of sexual assault and prevention? Wear teal, do yoga, answer email trivia, decorate your doors and break out your blue jeans.
Larry Gray, the Garrison sexual assault response coordinator, and Mark Thomas, victim advocate, are planning participatory events this month in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month:
· Teal Tuesdays. Every Tuesday in April, employees and staff are asked to wear teal to represent sexual assault awareness and prevention.
· A SHARP Yoga session. On April 13 at noon at Pagano Gym, everyone is invited to a one-hour yoga session. Participants can come as early as 11:30 a.m. to prepare or change clothes, if necessary.
“Yoga is used to treat trauma and help relieve stress,” including the trauma of sexual assault, Gray said.
Led by Maria Brito of Madison, a women’s empowerment coach, certified yoga instructor/educator, and breathwork facilitator, the class will welcome both beginning and experienced yoga participants.
A native of Puerto Rico who lives in Madison, Brito has 10 years of yoga teaching experience and says she has been practicing it “forever.”
Yoga helps heal the body after trauma. “It’s a moving meditation,” Brito said.
Those who own their own mats should bring them, if possible. A limited number of mats will also be on hand.
Attendees are asked to wear either black or teal to the class, which is free and will last about an hour. Preregistration is not required.
The first 30 participants will receive SHARP prizes, including backscratchers, pens, thermal cups, notebooks and other “everyday usable-type things,” Gray said.
· Daily emails to everyone at the Garrison, with trivia questions related to sexual assault and the prevention program, and SHARP prizes awarded to the person who first answers correctly.
· A door decorating contest. The door decorating contest with the SHARP theme and prevention message will be held until April 18. Participants are asked to send photographs of their entries directly to Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org. A panel of judges will award prizes to the top three doors. Winners will be announced April 20.
· Denim Day. On April 27, employees and staff are asked to don denim for “Denim Day.”
The Denim Day campaign was established by Peace Over Violence, a 50-year-old prevention center in Los Angeles that promotes social change, social service and social justice.
According to denimdayinfo.org, “the campaign 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.”
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month kicked off Friday with a 5K run/one-mile walk.
For information on any of the events taking place this month, call Gray at 808-9501.
For more information on Brito, visit her website at awakenwithmaria.com.