Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Wear Jeans to Support Survivors

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. First Response Action is encouraging survivors and people who support victims of sexual assault to wear jeans today, Wednesday, April 25th as part of a national Denim Day USA education campaign about sexual violence.

History of Denim Day

Denim Day began in 1998 after an Italian Supreme Court judge threw out a conviction of a driver’s education instructor who raped a 16-year-old student. Because the victim’s jeans were tight, the judge felt she must have helped remove them so rape was not possible. In protest, women of the Italian Parliament wore jeans. After that incident Los Angeles began an annual Denim Day in LA, which later expanded to Denim Day USA.

Some Facts about Sexual Violence

• Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.

• One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.

• According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there were 1,117 rapes during the year 2003, with only 260 rape suspects arrested.

• 82.8% of rapes committed by an intimate are not reported to the police.

• 35% of college men who voluntarily participated in psychological research conducted at several universities indicated they might commit a rape if they knew they could get away with it.

• Two million children around the world are forced into prostitution every year.

• Law enforcement arrests for internet sex crimes against minors are on the rise.

• 15,000 to 19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year in North America.