April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the COVID-19 emergency has underscored and exacerbated many of the challenges victims face when seeking justice and coping with trauma.
Social distancing measures can mean women feel further isolated from support systems. Stay-at-home measures can limit access to confidentiality. And, navigating the court system can be even more challenging. In addition, many survivors of sexual assault are already economically vulnerable, putting them at heightened financial risk during uncertain times.
In its twenty-first year, Denim Day was started after an Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction in 1992, citing the victim’s tight jeans as evidence of her consent. The next day, outraged women in the Italian Parliament wore denim to express solidarity with the victim and to demand change.
Today, nearly one in five women report having experienced sexual assault. As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, survivors may find themselves in dangerous situations and feel trapped.
CWLC is grateful for our partners at Peace Over Violence (POV) who for decades have brought awareness about sexual assault and the needs of survivors to the forefront. Join POV tomorrow for a virtual rally at 2:00 PT/5:00 ET in support of survivors and healthy relationships.
There are resources available for those who need it. POV is on the front lines and able to take calls 24-7. Courts are still processing restraining orders, and additional resources can be found on our website.
CWLC encourages you to join millions of people around the world in wearing jeans tomorrow to continue to bring awareness for Denim Day, thereby demonstrating solidarity and support for survivors. Since many of us will be home this year, we invite you to join POV, CWLC and other advocates by posting a photo of yourself in jeans with #DenimDay.
Thank you for standing up for justice.
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