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Denim Day: Leadership and Staff Unite Against Violence

Team Tampa’s leadership and staff reaffirmed their support for survivors of sexual harassment and assault.
Team Tampa’s leadership and staff reaffirmed their support for survivors of sexual harassment and assault.

The executive leadership team and staff at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital showed their support for survivors of sexual harassment and assault by participating in Denim Day and taking the White Ribbon Pledge to end violence against others.

Denim Day, observed annually on the last Wednesday of April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of combatting sexual violence and supporting survivors. Like the #MeToo movement, Denim Day started in support of a victim after a 1992 trial in Italy. Participants are encouraged to wear denim as a symbol of solidarity and to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault.

In a ceremony held in the hospital’s Freedom Garden, employees from all departments came together to show their commitment to creating a safe and supportive environment for all. By taking the White Ribbon Pledge, they vowed to stand up against harassment, assault, and victim blaming, affirming their dedication to a culture of respect and accountability.

“Denim Day is not just about wearing jeans, it’s about taking a stand against sexual violence and demonstrating that we understand and support survivors,” said Jennifer Naegele, Harassment Prevention Coordinator. “By participating in this initiative, we are sending a message that we are dedicated to creating a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone.”

By raising awareness and having these conversations, Team Tampa’s community challenges harmful attitudes and behaviors while promoting a culture of empathy and understanding.  As a part of our ongoing commitment to combatting sexual violence, we offer numerous services and resources for Veterans and employees alike including counseling, patient advocacy, and intervention programs for intimate partner violence. With encouragement, care and support, survivors are empowered on their journeys to healing.

“Today’s participation in Denim Day is just one step in our continued efforts to address sexual violence and create a safer community for all,” said Executive Director David Dunning. “It’s easy to pledge to not commit violence, but it’s difficult to speak up for others when we witness it. That is our challenge, and that is what we encourage our staff to do if they see harassment or violence of any kind.”

At JAHVH, we remain committed to upholding the values of respect, dignity, and equality for all every day.