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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

L.A. Brings Awareness to Rape Crisis

Denim Day helps to alert the country about Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

Local city officials and Angelenos are celebrating Denim Day with awareness activities across the city Wednesday.

Denim Day is celebrated worldwide Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
Denim Day is celebrated worldwide Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief Charlie Beck joined support group Peace Over Violence to increase knowledge of Sexual Violence Awareness Month.  City officials said Denim Day is all about increasing awareness on the dangers of sexual assault.

Beck said rape doesn't just affect the person, but an assault affects the whole community.  

Denim Day originated in Italy after an Italian Supreme Court Justice overturned a rape charge because the victim was wearing tight jeans. According the the Italian Supreme Court, the woman had to help take off her jeans, and therefore it was consensual and not rape.

Shortly after, Italian women started protesting the ruling by wearing jeans. Now, this day is celebrated all over the world with the hub of the activism centered here in Los Angeles.

Although the original case surrounded the rape of a women, Peace Over Violence said they were grateful to have such strong male figures like Mayor Villagairosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck present, so that they can continue to raise awareness about sexual assult and abuse towards men as well. 

Chief Beck discussed the elimination of the rape backlog, which will allow every rape kit to be tested, and which will he hopes will bring a sense of peace to the city.

The most recent sexual assault statistics are from 2008. Nationally, 182,000 women and 40,000 men reported sexual assault in 2008, according to West Hollywood officials who met Wednesday to celebrate Denim Day.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy worked closely with Peace Over Violence to bring this awareness to school, saying that most of the victims are young adults. He went on to say that he and LAPD Chief Beck are working to try to make school and home a safer environment for 

LAUSD schools are also having Denim Day celebrations including Franklin High School, Young Oak Kim Academy Middle School, Manual Arts High School, Fairfax High School, Fairfax High School and Taft High School.

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