National Denim Day raises awareness for sexual assault victims

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Updated: 4/23/2014 5:33 pm
CARSON CITY, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Wednesday is Denim Day across the nation. The campaign is designed to raise awareness about sexual assault.

Nevada's First Lady Kathleen Sandoval asked Nevadans to join her in promoting the event. One local business is taking her offer to heart.

At Comma Coffee in Carson City, Denim Cay holds special meaning. From the moment you walk in the door, you notice more than the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee.

Decorated jeans hang from the walls, and Owner June Joplin serves her coffees to go with a unique sleeve. It's a specially-cut denim. It not only protects your hand from the hot beverage, but it's another way to promote the campaign.

"Yeah, it does draw your attention," Joplin said. "Some people had already heard about it, so they were like 'OK, that's awesome', and they were wearing denim and stuff like that."

For Joplin, sexual assault or violence against another human being is something that, for her, strikes a very personal chord. "In the beginning of Comma Coffee almost 14 years ago, I created this coming out of domestic violence."

As a survivor, her connection to Advocates to End Domestic Violence led her to promote Denim Day. The group is behind the sleeves and the decorative jeans. Both contain facts about sexual assault, as well the number to the 24-hour crisis hotline.

Joplin said her store's show of denim helps open a conversation over a cup of coffee. "Some people knew about it, and some people have asked questions. It just give us an opportunity to share a little bit more about what it's for to bring awareness to that this continues to be a problem."

The denim sleeves last longer than just a day. They serve as a reminder of sexual assault awareness all year long.
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