LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilwomen Nithya Raman and Monica Rodriguez will gather at City Hall today in solidarity with sexual assault survivors to mark Denim Day, which aims to raise awareness of sexual violence.
Denim Day was launched in Los Angeles in 1999 by Patricia Giggans, executive director of Peace Over Violence. Now, at least 20 U.S. states recognize Denim Day during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The campaign was launched following a 1998 Italian Supreme Court ruling in which justices overturned a rape conviction, finding that the victim's jeans meant she would have had to help her assaulter remove them and therefore gave consent.
``What began as a protest of an outrageous verdict has grown into a powerful, worldwide movement of awareness and solidarity,'' said Denim Day founder Patti Giggans, who also serves as CEO of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Peace Over Violence, which hosts the Denim Day campaign.
Martinez, Raman and Rodriguez will join survivors and community leaders outside Los Angeles City Hall at 9 a.m. Wednesday to kick-off Denim Day in Los Angeles. At 10:30 a.m., Peace Over Violence will host a rally on the City Hall South Lawn, with speakers, activities, resources for survivors and complimentary coffee and pastries.
The theme for this year's Denim Day is ``There is STILL no excuse and never an invitation to rape.''
It is the first time in two years that Denim Day in Los Angeles includes in-person events, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to plan virtual rallies in 2020 and 2021.
``Join us with your jeans on for an inspiring morning as we tell the galvanizing story of Denim Day and our movement for survivors,'' Giggans said.