EL CENTRO, Calif. – A local organization that provides intervention and prevention services to victims of sexual violence is wearing jeans for Denim Day to bring awareness to victims.
Sure Helpline Crisis Center Educator Adelaide Ibarra said someone’s fashion is not an invitation for violence.
“No matter what you’re wearing, it doesn’t consent sexual assault,” Ibarra said.
To make that a point, Denim Day this Friday brings awareness to victims of sexual violence. Brawley Police say they will wear denim that day to show their support.
“It’s important that victims know also that we support them,” Brawley Police Commander Brett Houser said, “We understand that they went through a traumatic thing and that we don’t discount our victims ever and this denim day is a way for us to recognize and give awareness that there are sexual violence victims out there.”
Denim Day started back in the 1990’s when a young woman in Italy was blamed for her own sexual assault. The courts blamed it on her jeans. Next day women in parliament came to work wearing jeans. Houser says sexual violence should be stopped everywhere.
“It’s a crime that doesn’t know borders,” Houser said.
Ibarra said victims have begun to come forward more often.
“More people are talking about it. They’re able to come to our office as a walk-in and be able to talk to somebody or either they can do it on the phone,” Ibarra said.
She attributes that to awareness activities.
“Last year it was 16 victims that we served and for this beginning of the year it’s almost 13 victims,” Ibarra said.
Houser said they are ready to help victims but they need to seek help.
“We’re here for you. We want you to come forward and let us fulfill justice the way the law lets us do that,” Houser said.
Everyone can join in on Denim Day, which is Friday April 22nd and take a picture to send to the Sure Helpline Crisis Center website.
“Kind of a fashion statement for awareness,” Houser concluded.