April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
This year’s campaign by The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is I Ask. The campaign theme raises the message that consent is healthy, normal and a necessary part of relationships and interactions. Sexual assault awareness and prevention is something that is close to my heart and the statistics are heartbreaking.
- Nearly 1 in 5 women in a national survey say they have been raped (CDC)
- 82% of sexual assaults committed by a friend or acquaintance are not reported to the police (RAINN and USDOJ)
- Every 98 seconds, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. (RAINN and USDOJ)
- 1 out of 10 rape victims is men. (RAINN)
- 44% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 18 (USDOJ)
- Approximately 80% of female victims experience their first rape before the age of 25 (CDC)
The #MeToo movement was a step in the right direction to bring awareness that sexual assault and harassment are a bigger issue than most think. It also got social media to talk about the issues surrounding sexual violence. Victimization is a large issue surrounding this topic and Peace Over Violence has fought back against this for many years.
Peace Over Violence started Denim Day 2o years ago in 1999 to support survivors and raise awareness and education about all forms of sexual violence in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The Denim day story started after a court ruling in Italy was overturned because of the victim’s choice of clothing. In 1992 an 18-year-old girl was forcibly raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor on her very first driving lesson. The judge overthrew the court ruling because her jeans were tight. The judge said she had to of helped him take the jeans off because of how tight they were, which showed consent.
The women of the Italian Parliament were infuriated by the ruling and protested by wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court. This protest was talked about internationally. The first Denim Day was April of 1999 in LA and has continued annually.
Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual violence.
Denim Day is April 24, 2019. Please sport your best jeans and ask everyone you know to join you to let victims of sexual violence know they are not alone and that there is no excuse and never an invitation for rape. You can register at Denim Day Participation Registration