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AHH 24-Hr. News

Middletown Firefighters Recognized for Rescue Efforts
Thursday, 18 December 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - At the monthly Township Committee meeting held on December 15, 2014 a number of Middletown Township volunteer firefighters were recognized for their recent heroic rescue of a victim from a burning house. The Township Committee,... Read More...
Pennacchio, Bucco Push Resolution to Bring Back Cop-Killer Chesimard from Cuba
Thursday, 18 December 2014
TRENTON, NJ - Morris County Senators Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco introduced today a resolution urging the return of Joanne Chesimard from Cuba. Chesimard was convicted of murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a 1973 traffic... Read More...
Planning Board Honors Maritime Resiliency Project
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Bestows 2014 merit award on Bradley Beach project FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Planning Board presented the Bradley Beach Maritime Forest Creation and LakeStabilization project with their 2014 Planning Merit Award at their Dec. 15 meeting. ... Read More...
Middletown Volunteers and Staff Get Accolades
Thursday, 18 December 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Committee recognized several volunteers and township staff for outstanding service at their December meeting.  Six firefighters were presented with Life Saving Awards for their rescue of a man during a house... Read More...
IMAGE Blue Christmas Service at Navesink United Methodist Church
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Blue ChristmasSunday December 21st, 20147:00pm Navesink United Methodist ChurchNavesink Avenue, (Navesink section) Middletown, NJ NAVESINK, NJ - Many persons feel very alone in the midst of all the celebration time.  The days grow shorter and... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Our Forefathers Knew Better
by George Hancock-Stefan
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
When one does a comparison between the 17th and 20th centuries in regards to the goodness of humanity, one comes with two different views.  The... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Top Five
by David Prown
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
The other day I was scanning moviefone.com to get a sense of new releases for this weekend. Never heard of Chris Rock's "Top Five" and tried to get a... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - December 16, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Got 60 grand?  Well, you can use it to pay down your debt or buy Burt Reynold's Smokey & The Bandit TransAm: http://usat.ly/1G9j9n6 Parenting... Read More...
IMAGE Stupid Christmas Gifts
by Anne Mikolay
Monday, 15 December 2014
Yes, I know. Tis the thought that counts...blah, blah, blah. But let's be honest. Shall we? Whether it's a collectible you don't collect, or a... Read More...
IMAGE The Normal Culture, and Why Liberals Abandoned It
by Woody Zimmerman
Monday, 15 December 2014
When I was a boy, most people lived in a way we considered a “normal” – although we didn’t really call it that. The country simply accepted... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Sat Dec 20 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Brothers in Harmony Holiday Show
Sat Dec 20 @ 2:30PM -
Band of the Two Rivers Holiday Concert
Sun Dec 21 @10:00AM -
Fair Haven Menorah Lighting
Sun Dec 21 @ 7:00PM -
Blue Christmas Service
Sat Dec 27 @ 3:00AM - 05:00PM
Murray Farmhouse Candlelight Reception -

180_make_diff_denim_1Middletown South High School students create awareness of sexual assault victims rights

HAZLET, NJ – “I would imagine that the day I take my driving road test is going to be pretty nerve-wracking,” says Tara Smyth, a junior at Middletown High School South, slated to get her driver’s license in May. “I would like to think I’m going to end up elated that I passed! I can’t imagine that day being a tragic memory.”

ara is one of several young women who gathered in the offices of 180 Turning Lives Around Inc., recently to learn more about Denim Day, observed worldwide during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The tragic memory Tara is referring to happened in Italy in 1998. The case involved a young woman who was attacked by her driving instructor.  The victim wore tight-fitting jeans and the judge ruled that the victim must have consented to sex because she was forced to help her attacker remove her jeans. People all over the world were outraged. Wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. The Italian Supreme Court decision overturned the rape conviction, and wearing denim in the month of April is now an international symbol for the rights of all sexual assault victims.

One group already committed to wearing denim is a group of concerned students at Middletown High School South. On a recent Sunday evening, these eight women were educated on sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention and most importantly, the services that 180 Turning Lives Around provides to Monmouth County residents who become victims of sexual assault. Following the informational session, the girls hand painted pairs of jeans with creative messages about Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Some of the ideas they got across included “My body is the only thing on this earth that is 100% mine. Why would you destroy that?,”  “There is No Excuse,” “Stand Up and Speak Up,” and even a Seuss-like poem “Pants loose or tight, skinny or fat, my body’s my body and that is that.” The girls plan to wear these jeans to school on Denim Day – Friday, April 26 – not only to make a statement, but to help educate their peers and teachers.

“We described the workshops and programs that 180 offers to our school administrators and said that we wanted to help,” said Gabrielle Reimann, a senior at Middletown South. “These are services and information that any one of us might use or need. It’s important to spread awareness.” Gabrielle thinks about going away to college next year. “Many girls my age will be far away from friends or family for the first time, which is scary enough without thinking about how some of these things could happen. The information we learned from 180 will help.”

 Some of the information the girls were given comes from the Sexual Assault Prevention Program at 180, which can be tailored for any audience and has been presented to numerous schools and organizations in the area. They also learned how the professionals at 180 Turning Lives Around Inc. become involved after an assault does happen.

180 seeks support for these programs  through their own  Denim Day effort aimed at Monmouth County businesses and organizations, where employees and members make dress down day count by paying $5 to wear blue jeans to work. Proceeds are used to support 180’s Sexual Assault Prevention Programs.

“Denim Day is an outward example of how a community can help change people's perceptions about violence against women, men and children,” said Anna Diaz-White, 180’s Executive Director. ”We are so proud of these young women for taking the initiative to stand in support of survivors and encourage others to do so as well.”

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Any business or organization that would like to participate in Denim Day 2013 should contact Lauren Brajer at 732-264-4360 x4231 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or log on to http://www.180nj.org/DenimDay2013.htm.

To find out more about the Sexual Assault Prevention Program at 180 (workshops are tailored to each audience), contact Sue Levine at (732) 264-4360 x4271 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 180’s 24-hour Sexual Violence Hotline number is 1-888-264-RAPE.