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'Denim Day' fights sexual violence April 21

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Posted: April 6, 2010 1:26 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2010 3:53 p.m.

 
Zonta Club of SCV will sponsor "Denim Day" in the Santa Clarita Valley on April 21.

The Denim Day campaign recalls an Italian court case that inspired international outrage when the judges did not convict a rapist because the victim was wearing jeans. The judges ruled that the victim must have consented because she would have had to help her assailant remove her tight jeans.

Denim Day is a great opportunity to take a stand against violence against women and at the same time bring awareness of domestic violence in our community. Many don't know that almost 60 percent of the women served at Single Mothers Outreach have indicated they have been either physically or emotionally abused.

The nonprofit Zonta Club of SCV has created a very easy way for local employers, employees, schools, civic and nonprofit organizations to participate in a campaign that will do two things:

* Raise awareness of increased violence against women both locally and globally and take a stand against it, and
* Raise support for our local domestic violence shelter, which has suffered from significant revenue decreases due to the state budget crisis.

This campaign encourages people to make a social statement with their fashion statement. Wearing denim on April 21 will raise awareness of public and private violence against women, which is a necessary first step in making our local and global community safe for mothers, sisters and daughters.

Denim Day has become a national movement held annually during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. More than 600,000 supporters took part in 2009 and more are expected to participate this year, including high school and college students and employees of leading corporations and businesses.

There has been an increase in violence against women in Santa Clarita that cannot be tolerated. In 2009, four of the six murders committed in Santa Clarita were related to domestic violence, and thirty women were raped. Already in 2010, there have been two domestic violence murders in Santa Clarita.

Zonta and Single Mothers Outreach ask participants to do two things:

-- If permitted, wear denim to school or work on April 21 and make a donation for that privilege to the Santa Clarita Valley Domestic Violence Center; even small donations of $5 to $10 will make a difference. If not allowed to wear denim, wear a Denim Day pin, provided by Zonta, for a similar donation.

-- Join Zonta's support of the United Nations SAY NO UNiTE campaign to end violence against women throughout the world. Visit the Zonta International website, zonta.org, and click on the blue SAY NO UNiTE button. Each click registers a vote against violence with the United Nations.

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