FULTON, NY – In recognition of National Denim Day a number of organizations partnered with Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families program to raise awareness of sexual violence in Oswego County and show their support for survivors of sexual violence.
Celebrated on April 27, National Denim Day is a movement to stand up for survivors of sexual assault and protest victim blaming and destructive attitudes that promote sexual violence.
Denim Day started in Italy in the 1990s after a judge overturned a rape conviction and ruled the victim wore tight jeans so she must have helped her attacker take them off, therefore implying consent.
Outraged, female members of the Italian Parliament wore jeans to protest the decision.
As news of the decision spread, so did the protest.
Now in its 17th year, Denim Day is held each April in the United States as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“I’m pleased that we received so much support for National Denim Day,” said SAF Victim Advocate/Educator Sara Gozzi. “Hundreds of staff members from the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, Cayuga Community College’s Fulton Campus and its Healthy Living Club, the Department of Social Services, OCO, students, faculty and staff at SUNY Oswego, and other community partners showed their support for survivors of sexual violence and took a stand against victim blaming by wearing jeans to work.”
“We gave each participant buttons and stickers that read, ‘Ask my why I’m wearing jeans today’ in order to prompt conversation. Participants were also encouraged to post pictures of themselves, their friends and colleagues wearing jeans on social media using the hashtags #DenimDay, #OswegoWearsDenim, and #SAAM2016,” added Gozzi.
In addition to wearing jeans, staff at DSS raised money for the SAF program as they made donations so they may wear jeans to work.
Staff at the Mexico and Fulton locations raised almost $400 for the SAF program.
“We are thankful to Senior Social Welfare Examiners Stephanie Hoxie and Erin Reed for coordinating Denim Day at DSS and the staff members that generously donated to SAF. The money will be used to help meet the needs of victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence that funding does not cover; such as fees for process servers for civil court documents, and costs associated with getting new documentation and identification cards like drivers licenses and social security cards. For more information on Denim Day, visit www.peaceoverviolence.org,” said Gozzi.
OCO’s Services to Aid Families program is the domestic violence and rape crisis program that serves Oswego County.
The goal of SAF is to raise awareness of the epidemic of domestic and sexual violence in Oswego County and to educate individuals on the impact of victimization in their communities.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or stalking, please call the Crisis Hotline at (315) 342-1600.