April 20, 2015 – Denim Day for sexual assault awareness is April 29

(article courtesy of The Mountaineer newspaper)

denim day header

Members of the Haywood County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force, including Haywood Community College, are urging all community members, elected officials, county and state employees, students and teachers to “wear jeans with a purpose” on Wednesday, April 29, as a visible means to promote sexual violence prevention and education.

Denim Day in the U.S. and Haywood County is an annual campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence issues and support survivors of sexual assault as part of recognizing April as being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

On this day, millions across the country will participate in the “There Is No Excuse” campaign and wear denim to address one of the major misconceptions about sexual assault, which is that what someone wears is an excuse for rape. This is a form of blaming the victim. Other misconceptions are if someone has had too much to drink and doesn’t really know what she/he is saying or doing, it’s okay to take advantage of the person.

Sexual assault and rape are crimes and there is no excuse and never an invitation to rape.

Denim Day, the national sexual assault awareness campaign, was first organized by a group called Peace Over Violence and it began in 1999 in response to something that happened in Italy the year before. The Italian case involved an 18-year old girl who was picked up by her married, 45-year old driving instructor for her lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, wrestled her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully raped her.

Threatened with death if she told anyone, he made her drive the car home. Later that night, she told her parents, and they helped her and supported her to press charges. The driving instructor got arrested, was prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced to jail. He appealed the sentence. The case made it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days, the verdict against the driving instructor was overturned, the case dismissed, and the perpetrator was released.

In a statement by the chief judge, he argued, “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.” It was later interpreted that anyone who was wearing jeans could not prosecute an attacker for rape.

Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours, the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action spread around the world and has continued every year since.

For more information, visit www.denimdayusa.org or call 828-456-7898, REACH of Haywood, the domestic violence/sexual assault prevention and intervention agency, www.reachofhaywood.org.

Support REACH

REACH of Haywood County, Inc. serves survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, community outreach and prevention education to empower individuals to live a self-sufficient life free of violence.

LEARN MORE

How Can We Help You?

How can we contact you?




July 27, 2015 – REACH raises $30,000 with summer beach party

by Anna Denson On July 10th, REACH of Haywood County welcomed more than 140 guests at their main summer fundraiser – this year, a whimsical […]

signs of battering personality

Signs of an Abusive Personality

Abusive individuals often possess specific personality traits. Knowing how to recognize these traits can help you leave a violent relationship or never enter one in […]

Combating teen dating violence

By Anna Denson Article also appears in The Mountaineer.   I can really only remember one date from high school. I went out for sushi […]

marital rape

Marital Rape

What is Marital Rape? Marital rape is often misunderstood because many women feel they have no voice when it comes to their husband or long-term […]

October 7, 2015 – Local task force spreads the word about Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Anna Denson October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and today REACH joined its partners at the Haywood County Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Elder […]

January 6, 2016 – REACH thanks community for holiday donations

By Anna Denson As the new year dawns and the holidays draw to a close, REACH of Haywood would like to thank everyone who contributed […]

How to Help a Friend Who is Being Abused

by Anna Denson Article also appears in The Mountaineer. Domestic violence. Dating violence. Sexual assault. They are uncomfortable topics, to say the least. Often, we […]

dvpo

Domestic Violence Protective Order?

Do you feel as though you or someone you love is being abused? If so, the solutions are multi-layered. First and foremost, you must consider […]

cycle-of-violence

Cycle of Violence

The “Cycle of Violence” can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of time. The total cycle can […]

September 10, 2015 – Spotlight on the new REACH website

by Anna Denson Article also appears in The Mountaineer. Check It Out: REACH of Haywood Tackles the Information Age with New Website Recently, it’s been […]