To: Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Your Voice Has Power.
Awareness. Prevention. Change.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), an opportunity to raise public awareness about sexual violence, including assault, abuse, and trafficking.
Here are ways you can get involved:
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, share our posts, and embrace your voice.
- Participate in Denim Day on Wednesday, April 29 by wearing jeans. Ask others to join you in showing solidarity with survivors by participating in the world-wide movement. Learn more about the history of this day below.
It is often difficult for a survivor to disclose any part of their experience with others. If someone comes to you for support, start by believing them. Learn how you can support a survivor.
The history behind Denim Day:
An 18-year old girl is picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her. Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home. Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.
He appeals the sentence. The case makes it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”
Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since, developing into an international movement.
Help is always available. Call our 24-Hour Hotline at 262.542.3828.
Thank you to WaterStone Bank for their support of
Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the mission of The Women’s Center.