LOS ANGELES (March 19, 2013) —The Board of Education unanimously approved today a resolution in support of Denim Day on April 24. Organized by the group Peace Over Violence, the annual rape prevention education campaign promotes awareness with activities, and by encouraging everyone to wear jeans to work.
Board President Mónica García sponsored the resolution, “Break the Silence to End Sexual Violence: Denim Day 2013. It directs Superintendent John Deasy and staff of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to support activities, which promote education and prevent sexual assault.
“We stand against violence in Los Angeles and join all the voices that demand an end to sexual abuse,” said Board President Mónica García. “Education and courage are key to breaking the silence and building awareness.”
Her co-sponsor Board Member Steve Zimmer said, “I am proud that LAUSD continues to lead our nation’s school districts in the struggle to end all forms of violence against women and sexual assault. We cannot rest until all our daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers are safe in their homes, our workplaces and our schools.”
The Denim Day movement began in 1992 after the Italian Supreme Court reversed a rape conviction on the grounds that an18-year-old female victim had consented because she had to help her rapist remove her tight jeans so he could assault her. To protest, women in the Italian Parliament wore their jeans to work. That fashion statement spread to California when members of the State Assembly and State Senate decided to show their support in the same way. Locally, Peace Over Violence (formerly the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults against Women) has drawn attention to these issues since 1999 with various activities and by encouraging men and women to wear jeans to work.
García’s resolution encourages broad participation. “By participating in Denim Day in LA on April 24, 2013, we promote prevention through education; make it possible for more survivors of sexual assault to reach out and find help; and help men and boys understand the critical role they play in preventing violence against women.”
It also calls on those who live in Los Angeles County to unite “to send a message that we are all against rape of girls, women, boys and men; that we stand in support of survivors and that we will no longer be silent in the fight to end sexual violence.”
Contact: Thomas Waldman (213) 241-6766