Peace Over Violence (POV) (formerly the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women) was established in 1971, by pioneering feminist activities. POV initiated Denim Day in Los Angeles which has evolved into a national campaign in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
The campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have provoked the sexual assault and was responsible for it. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.
POV developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign, community members, elected officials, businesses and students are asked to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. This year’s Denim Day will be held on April 23, 2014 and will focus on educating the community at large on the legal definition of consent.
There are 80 rape crisis centers in the state of California that support the Denim Day campaign. POV’s innovative programs are comprehensive and include Emergency Intervention, Prevention, Education and Advocacy Services for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and youth violence prevention.
WHY DENIM DAY?
Did you know?
- Nearly 1 in 5 women in a national survey say they have been raped (CDCP)
- 1 in 10 women have been raped by their boyfriend or husband (CDCP)
- Half of female sexual assault victims were raped before age 18 (White House Report-Rape & Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action)
- Over 1/4 of male sexual assault survivors were raped before they were 10 (White House-Report Rape & Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action)
- 82% of rapes committed by an intimate are not reported to the police (RAINN/Dept. of Justice)
- Only 3 out of every 100 rapists will ever spend a single day in prison (RAINN/Dept. of Justice)
- The majority (54%) of rapes are still not reported (RAINN/Dept. of Justice)
- Only about 1 out of 4 reported rapes leads to an arrest. Similarly, only about 1 out of 4 arrests leads to a felony conviction and incarceration (RAINN/Dept. of Justice)
- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (National Institute for Justice and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)
- 17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape (National Institute for Justice and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)
- 15,000-19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year in North America (National Center on Domestic & Sexual Violence)
- 1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before the age of 18 (1in6.org)
- 44% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 18 (USDOJ)
- Victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from PTSD, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide (WHO)
- Almost 2/3 of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim (USDOJ)
- 28% of male victims of rape experience their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger (CDCP)
- Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 (CDCP)
- Every four hours a rape is reported in the United States Armed Forces (Military Rape Crisis Center)
- Women in the US Military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan than killed by enemy fire (Military Rape Crisis Center)
SAVE THE DATE:
Denim Day California will take place on April 23, 2014. CALCASA will recognize Denim Day on the steps of the State Capitol; many rape crisis centers will be holding their own Denim Day California events through the state. For more about Denim Day, visit denimdayusa.org.
Source: CALCASA, Peace Over Violence, California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center