DATE: March 26, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Miriam Firpo-jiminez, Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center
Broward County joins the rest of the nation in observing Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month during April. The County’s Sexual Assault Treatment Center (SATC) will promote the prevention of sexual violence and child abuse through special events and public education during the observance.
This year’s themes, “Broward Aware: Child Abuse Prevention – It Is Up to Us” and “It’s Time….To Talk About It. Respect. Connect. Prevent Sexual Violence,” underscore the fact that sexual assault and child abuse are intolerable crimes affecting everyone. Local activities include:
Governmental Center Exhibit – April 1-30
Throughout April, residents are invited to stop by the Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, to view a powerful exhibit of survivor art and awareness.
Community Resource Fair and Celebration – Broward Aware! – April 21
SATC along with the Children’s Services Council, ChildNet, the Florida Department of Children and Families, Health Mothers Healthy Babies and other community partners, will host “Broward Aware: Child Abuse Prevention – It Is Up to Us” on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at The Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park, 2520 N.W. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale. This day of safety and welfare presentations, entertainment, food and prizes is free and open to the public.
Denim Day – April 24
Residents are encouraged to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing denim and denim ribbons to bring attention to sexual assault and child abuse, and protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
Denim Day was started in Rome, Italy, in 1997. An 18-year-old girl was picked up by her 45-year-old driving instructor for her first lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car and raped her, threatening her with death if she told anyone. She reported the assault and pressed charges. The instructor was convicted of rape and sentenced to jail. He appealed and the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction and released the perpetrator. The chief judge argued that, “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.” Enraged by the verdict, women in the Italian Parliament launched an immediate protest by wearing jeans to work. The California Senate and Assembly were motivated to do the same, and a movement was born. Broward County has supported the Wear Denim campaign since 2009.
About the Sexual Assault Treatment Center
Sexual violence is an insidious social issue that cuts across all boundaries and identifies perpetrators as family, friends, acquaintances and sometimes strangers. Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. Only 40 percent of all sexual assaults committed are actually reported to the police. At least 80 percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 30.
SATC functions as a safety net for victims of sexual assault and/or child abuse and their families, and collaborates with community partners in the areas of law enforcement, child protection investigations, state attorney’s office, attorney general, department of health and others.
For more information on services of the Sexual Assault Treatment Center or Sexual Assault Awareness Month, call 954-357-5775 or visit broward.org/Community Partnerships and click SEXUAL ASSAULT.