In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, folks all around our area were wearing jeans as part of a larger effort to stop sexual violence.
Nancy Boyette was rocking her favorite pair of jeans at work Wednesday. Not only are they far more comfortable than the suit she normally wears, but she's helping support The Haven Crisis Center and its mission.
Nancy was a victim of domestic abuse and now wants to help put an end to the violence.
Nancy says, "It's become more prevalent now where people are taking note that it happens. Back when it happened to me, there wasn't much help."
Many folks wearing jeans may not realize the symbolism behind the denim. It all goes back to a judge's decision to throw out a rape case in 1999.
Mandy Rowe, The Haven director, says, "When she appeared before him in the clothes she was wearing he said that her jeans were too tight and that there was no way that the perpetrator could have taken them off by himself."
It’s a decision that is now being passionately protested.
Haven officials say there are numerous business around Valdosta and Lowndes County participating in Jeans for Justice Day. The business has taken that one step further and purchased t-shirts promoting the Haven and its services.
Debi Inge, manager of Metabolic Weight Loss, says, "I just thought it was a great idea to help women who have been in such a distressful phase."
But with more than 1,200 supporters in Lowndes County alone, the victims aren't alone. The Haven works daily to reduce the threat of sexual violence on a local, state and national level.