SOURCE: Peace Over Violence

Peace Over Violence

April 24, 2012 09:00 ET

Denim Day in LA & USA Is April 25, 2012

Millions Will Wear Jeans on Wednesday to Take a Stand Against Rape, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 24, 2012) - Millions of people will wear jeans on Wednesday, April 25 to participate in Denim Day in LA & USA to raise awareness around sexual violence issues and support survivors of sexual assault.

Now in its 13th year, Denim Day is organized by the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Peace Over Violence (POV). Held each April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Denim Day recalls an Italian court case that sparked international outrage when judges did not convict a rapist because the victim wore jeans. The judges ruled that because the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her attacker remove them, thus implying consent.

Still now in 2012, one in four women and one in six men will experience sexual assault over their lifetime, according to POV.

"This year, we've added a new excuse and a call to leadership to our award-winning No Excuses campaign," said Patti Giggans, POV executive director. "It is, 'There is No Excuse to Ignore Rape' and it reminds us that it is never OK for institutions -- schools, corporations, prisons, churches, the military, and even the family -- to ignore sexual assault."

With the new excuse, Giggans said she was pleased to hear that soldiers and civilians at Ft. Meade in Maryland would be taking part in Denim Day activities this year.

Denim Day 2012 also marks a major East Coast expansion with Denim Day NYC activities being held around New York City. POV is partnering with actress Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation and others, to sponsor Denim Day activities across all five boroughs.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged Mayors nationwide as well as LA city employees to take part in Denim Day, using his Twitter account @villaraigosa to cite statistics about rape and sexual assault. Along with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Villaraigosa will hold a Denim Day press conference on Wednesday morning at POV in downtown Los Angeles. Also in L.A., students at dozens of middle- and high-school campuses were expected to take part in Denim Day assemblies and activities.

For information and to register, visit www.denimdayusa.org, www.denimdayinla.org, or www.denimdaynyc.org; over a million supporters from schools, clubs, corporations and government agencies have signed up to wear jeans on Wednesday.

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