Denim Day Wednesday raises awareness about sexual violence | CraigDailyPress.com

Denim Day Wednesday raises awareness about sexual violence

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

— Advocates Crisis Support Services is encouraging individuals and businesses in Craig and Moffat County to participate in Denim Day on Wednesday.

Denim Day is an international effort to raise awareness about sexual violence and sexual assault. It began in Rome, Italy in 1992 when an 18-year-old girl was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor while on her first driving lesson.

"The man was convicted and sentenced to jail but the conviction was overturned on appeal in 1999. The High Court declared 'because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing the jeans…it was no longer rape but consensual sex,'" according to Advocates Executive Director Sharon Farquhar. "Enraged women of the Italian Parliament protested the verdict by wearing jeans on the steps of parliament."

ACSS is asking those who participate in Denim Day to notify them, post to the Advocates Facebook page and email photos of their Denim Day team of co-workers, students, family and friends to acss.sfarquhar@gmail.com. Last year, six Moffat County businesses and government employers participated by having their employees wear jeans on Denim Day.

"One in five women and one in 71 men in the US will be victims of sexual violence at some point in their lives. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them," Farquhar said. "Rape is the most under-reported crime: 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police. Only 12 percent of child sexual abuse is reported to authorities."

In 2014, ACSS responded to 19 victims of sexual violence, of which 12 were adults and seven were child victims, as well as 15 secondary victims, including friends, families and witnesses.

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