San Jose, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/01/2010 -- Blue jeans are worn by millions of Americans every day, but staff members and supporters of The YWCA of Silicon Valley’s Rape Crisis Center will wear their denim on April 21, 2010 for a special reason – to step forward and take a stand against rape. “Denim Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault against women,” said Keri McLain, CEO of the YWCA of Silicon Valley. “We urge everyone in the community to join us in wearing jeans on Denim Day.”
Wearing jeans during the month of April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month became an international symbol of protest against common attitudes about rape in 1999 when an Italian High Court overturned a rape conviction. The justices reasoned that since the victim wore very tight jeans, the man who was accused of raping her could not have removed her jeans by himself, so the victim must have willingly participated. Women in the Italian Legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest. In April 1999 the state of California established the first Denim Day in the United States.
The YWCA Rape Crisis Center provides crisis intervention, advocacy, support and education to those affected by sexual violence. Advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide support and answer questions. The center also welcomes calls from partners, family members and friends of rape and sexual victims. “It is important to understand that sexualized violence does not just affect women. It affects the men who care about them, their friends, their coworkers, and their communities. Sexualized violence is epidemic.” said Sandy Davis, Director of the YWCA Rape Crisis Center. Some of the statistics: Every two minutes someone in America is raped. One in six women are victims of sexual assault. That means that someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual violence. It may be your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your wife, your coworker, or your daughter.
The mission of the YWCA is to empower women, children and their families, and to eliminate racism, hatred and prejudice. The YWCA of Silicon Valley serves nearly 24,000 Santa Clara County residents each year, and has provided services in Santa Clara County for more than 100 years. The YWCA provides programs in the areas of sexual assault intervention and prevention, counseling services, child care, youth programs, family services, and social and racial justice. The YWCA of Silicon Valley is located at 375 S. 3rd Street, San Jose, CA 95112. For more information about the YWCA of Silicon Valley, contact (408) 295-4011 or visit http://www.ywca-sv.org.