ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that it will participate in “Denim Day” on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 by encouraging city employees to wear jeans to work in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. Denim Day is a national campaign that encourages community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement against the misconceptions surrounding sexual assault.
“For the second consecutive year, the City of Atlanta Law Department is proud to lead participation in the international Denim Day campaign,” said City Attorney Cathy Hampton. “We remain committed to raising awareness about the role we must all play in stopping sexual assault. Denim Day encourages women and men to ‘Take a Stand’ by wearing your favorite jeans in support of survivors of sexual assault.”
In 2014, Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta Law Department launched “Take a Stand,” the city’s first campaign to help end sexual assault by providing resources to both men and women on how to guard their personal safety, or get help quickly, in the event of an emergency.
Since the launch of “Take a Stand,” the city has partnered with businesses, non-profit organizations and local colleges and universities to spread awareness. The city also hosted numerous events throughout the city including town halls, campus rallies, round table discussions and film screenings. The campaign offers a short film and public service announcements, which can be viewed on the City of Atlanta website at www.atlantaga.gov/takeastand.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are an average of 240,000 victims of rape and sexual assault every year, with many assaults going unreported. This staggering statistic prompted Mayor Reed and the City of Atlanta to take a proactive approach to preventing sexual assault and supporting victims.
About Denim Day:
In the late 1990’s, a young woman in Italy was sexually assaulted by a much older man. The assailant was convicted and sentenced to jail. After appealing the sentence, the case made its way to the Italian Supreme Court in which it was overturned on the grounds that because the victim’s jeans were tight, she must have helped her assailant remove them, implying consent. In protest, women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans to work. The news spread worldwide, and Denim Day was born.