Posted: 27 Apr 2011 03:51 PM PDT
*The following news release was issued by Cal EMA on Wednesday, April 27, 2011.*
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, California Emergency Management Agency Acting Secretary Mike Dayton joined the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), victim advocates and other representatives at the California State Capitol to recognize the 2011 National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign and support Denim Day. Denim Day is an event across California and the nation in which participants wear denim to "speak out against sexual violence".
The Denim Day campaign began in 1999 with CALCASA and LACAAW, the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, as part of an international protest of an Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. The Italian Supreme Court dismissed charges against a 45-year old rape suspect because his 18-year-old victim was wearing jeans at the time of the attack. The Court stated in its decision that "It is common knowledge…that jeans cannot even be partly removed without the effective help of the person wearing them….and it is impossible if the victim is struggling with all her might." The judgment sparked worldwide outcry from those who understand coercion, threats and violence go along with the act of rape. The unpopular verdict became an international symbol of myth-based injustice for sexual assault victims.
Cal EMA Acting Secretary Dayton along with other representatives signed a pledge to work together to prevent and end sexual violence. "I am proud to recognize Cal EMA's support to all 58 counties of California from our Victim/Witness, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Children's Sections", said Acting Secretary Dayton. "Through the direct funding programs, these Sections work tirelessly to administer the many programs which provide assistance to victims and witnesses of all types of crimes."
Additionally, the goal of SAAM is to raise awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. Each day, people witness a continuum of behaviors that range from being respectful and safe, to sexually abusive and violent. This primary prevention approach helps to create environments where people are safe in their relationships, families, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and communities.
For more information on these programs and how you can help, please visit our website at www.calema.ca.gov. Additional resources can be found at http://www.nsvrc.org/saam, http://calcasa.org/, http://vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/default.aspx, http://www.rainn.org/index.php, and http://www.nctsn.org/.
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