DATE: April 18, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Miriam Firpo-Jimenez
Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center
Broward County is encouraging all County residents to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing denim and denim ribbons on Denim Day, April 24, in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month. Both the Broward County Commission and the Broward County School Board are issuing proclamations in support of this important cause.
“I hope that everyone will join the Broward County Commission in observance of Denim Day. Let us not forget that it was only fifteen years ago that an Italian high court issued this ruling against a rape victim who was wearing what they considered tight jeans. It was a travesty of justice for women worldwide and set off a nationwide movement that we support on this day by wearing denim,” said Commissioner Barbara Sharief, who will present a proclamation designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month and Tuesday, April 24, as Denim Day in Broward County.
About Denim Day
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.
The theme for this year's Sexual Assault Awareness Month, “Broward Aware: Child Abuse Prevention – It Is Up to Us” and “It’s Time….To Talk About It. Respect. Connect. Prevent Sexual Violence,” underscores the fact that sexual assault and child abuse are intolerable crimes affecting everyone. Activities open to the public for the remainder of the monthlong observance 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
Broward County's Sexual Assault Treatment Center (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.
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.