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AWARE events encourage community involvement

APRIL 13, 2018 – April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). In recognition, AWARE, Inc. is leading efforts to raise awareness about this serious issue and provide opportunities for the Jackson community to get involved.

  • Individuals and professionals are invited to learn about society’s shifting and changing perspectives on sexual violence at AWARE, Inc.’s 8th Annual SAAM Volunteer Recognition luncheon on Thursday, April 19. Tickets are $25 per person and the event will be held at the Commonwealth Commerce Center Ballroom.
  • Local businesses, corporations and schools (such as South Central Credit Union & Michigan Center Jr./Sr. High School) have agreed to allow their representatives to wear jeans with a purpose on Wednesday, April 25 in recognition of national Denim Day. Denim Day was established in 1997 after an 18-year old woman in Rome, Italy was sexually assaulted by her driving instructor. The driving instructor’s case was overturned and in a statement to the press, a member of the Supreme Court was quoted as stating that “since the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to have helped the perpetrator remove them.” For more information about Denim Day, visit
  • Area restaurants, including Crazy Cowboy, The Oak Tree, and The Roadhouse who participated last year  will utilize our Embrace Your Voice Campaign coasters throughout the month. 

“Our research indicates nearly one in five women and one in 71 men will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. Sadly, approximately 68 percent of these incidents will go unreported because sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes,” says Angelita Velasco Gunn, executive director of AWARE, Inc. “Last year in Jackson County, 58 victims sought crisis services from AWARE, Inc., but we know there are more.”

Sexual violence has long lasting effects on individual victims and their families as they struggle to put their lives back together. Sexual violence also impacts entire communities by creating a climate of fear in neighborhoods and communities where it occurs.

AWARE, Inc. encourages the Jackson community to get involved. Educate yourself, your peers and others in your sphere of influence. During April and throughout the year, the single most important action you can take is to believe survivor stories.

For more information, contact Angelita Velasco Gunn at or (517) 783-1638 ext. 140. Visit AWARE on Facebook at Shelter for updates on events and activities.