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Activists at 'Denim Day' Rally at Santa Monica City Hall Vow 'No More'
By Niki Cervantes
April 26, 2018 -- Activists rallied on the steps of Santa Monica City Hall Wednesday as part of “Denim Day,” a nationwide movement that asks the public to don denim for a day to demonstrate support for survivors of sexual abuse and the pursuit of reducing sexual violence.
“Everyone shared, ‘No more!,’" organizers tweeted of the gathering, which attracted a range of activists along with the City’s Commission on the Status of Women.
Wednesday’s rallies marked 19 years since a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court overturning a rape conviction because the justices decided the victim, who was wearing tight jeans, must have aided her rapist in removing her jeans, implying consent.
The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim, triggering the “Denim Day” movement.
Peace Over Violence, the main organizers, stages “Denim Day” events on a Wednesday in April, which is Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
Locally, cities throughout Southern California staged events marking the day, including one at Los Angeles City Hall.
Denim Day founder Patti Giggans, who heads Peace Over Violence, joined city and community leaders at L.A. City Hall to announce a new campaign: The “Sexual harassment: Not on my watch” initiative, news reports said.
“This Denim Day we’ve expanded our signature message, which I know many of you know, that ‘There’s no excuse and never an invitation to rape,” Giggans said at a news conference outside City Hall, according to City News Service.
“Now we include sexual harassment. There is no excuse and never an invitation to harass, abuse, assault, or rape.”
Nearly 12 million people registered at the www.denimdayinfo.org website to participate in the event by wearing jeans on Wednesday.
The National Crime Victimization Survey, released at the end of 2017, estimates the U.S. population experienced more than 320,000 incidents of rape and sexual assault in 2016, or 1.2 such assaults per one thousand among those aged 12 or older.
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