An artist and a survivor is remembered – Englewood Herald

Posted in Tattoo Shop on Aug 28, 2020

Theres a chance youve seen or heard of Lakewood resident Daisy Coleman if you have access to Netflix.

Coleman, 23, is known for telling her story as a sexual assault survivor in the Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy. In the film, Coleman details her allegations of being sexually assaulted by then 17-year-old Matthew Barnett at a Maryville, Missouri party in 2012 when she was 14. Coleman was bullied after the incident and was forced to move out of Maryville.

Barnett told police that he had sex with the inebriated Coleman, and was charged with felony sexual assault, but the case was eventually dropped. Barnett would eventually plead guilty to a lesser charge of child endangerment after renewed public interest in the case forced it back open. Colemans family said that the plea deal for lesser charges was due to local political connections in his family, BBC reported.

Coleman went on to help found SafeBae (Before Anyone Else) in 2015, a nonprofit that works to prevent sexual assault in schools.

But on Aug. 4, Coleman was found dead, after taking her own life.

And even though shes been a face of sexual assault and has advocated to prevent cases in schools, the tattoo shop she worked at for the past eight months doesnt want the public to forget the artist that she was.

That was the main thing, said Jillian Chavez, owner of Phoenix Tattoo Company at 3680 Morrison Roadin Denver where Coleman worked at before her death. I know a lot of people talk about SafeBae and how she was on Netflix but I think a lot of it was like yeah, that was a bad time for her, and she was an advocate for that but her art is being overlooked. That was her main passion.

Nemo Jones, a tattoo artist at Phoenix Tattoo Company, said Coleman was talented at creating anime artwork and was good with colors. He said whenever she came into the tattoo shop, she was always joking. He described her as kindhearted and creative.

That was one of our family members. All we have is good memories of her, said Jones. When I heard she passed, it broke my soul. The last thing I remember is that we tried to figure out an anime design she could (tattoo) on me, because I wanted her work. We never got to finish it. It really hurts, but were taking it day by day.

Chavez said people from different states have been calling the shop and messaging it, offering their condolences. She added that a girl who had never met Coleman traveled from Albuquerque to leave flowers at Colemans booth where she did tattoos at because of the impact she had on her.

Colemans booth remains untouched while Phoenix Tattoo Company created a mural honoring her that hangs in the shop.

Outside of tattooing, Coleman enjoyed making music. Chavez described her music genre as punk rock hip hop.

She was really bubbly, outgoing and really strong willed. When she came to work, it was more of a genuine time, said Chavez.

MORE:Time to talk about mental health

SafeBae has reached at least 5.5 million people through its sexual assault prevention materials, according to its 2019 annual report. In 2019, the nonprofit carried out a consent summit in Maine where more than 500 students gathered to learn about preventing sexual assault.

I think the thing that was unusual about Daisy was that she was so beautiful on the outside, so people were drawn to her in that sense, and adding a pile of tattoos on that drew attention to her from her exterior. But what I think brought it to the next level was her inside and her beliefs, looking at the world, helping to prevent what happened to her to other people (and) her art, said Shael Norris, executive director of SafeBae.

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An artist and a survivor is remembered - Englewood Herald

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