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LACAAW: Over 1000 Expected at Denim Day in L.A. Rally & Speak-Out in Downtown Los Angeles to Challenge Attitudes that Excuse Rape.

LOS ANGELES -- April 27th, 2005 is the 7th Annual Denim Day in L.A. City Councilmembers will join 1,000 Denim Day in L.A. participants at a Speak Out and Rally between 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. on April 27th to encourage the citizens of Los Angeles to break their silence and speak out against rape and sexual assault. Rally participants will represent a fraction of more than 100,000 Denim Day in L.A. participants throughout the city who will make a social statement with their fashion statement on April 27th by wearing jeans as a means of publicly challenging the attitudes that excuse rape. "Sexual violence does not discriminate," said Calista Flockhart, LACAAW's National Spokesperson, "it does not limit itself to one group of people . . . not one age group, not one race, not one sexual orientation, not one country. We are all affected by sexual violence."

Why Denim? Because in 1999 a Supreme Court Justice in Italy overturned a rape case because he said that the young girl's jeans were too tight to be taken off by someone else -- that she must have helped, that she must have consented. Because LACAAW's hotlines get over 400 calls a month regarding sexual violence. Because rape can happen to anyone, because it happens to someone in the state of California every 54 minutes. Because rape happens in prison, under the cover of clergy, on dates and within marriage. Because girls and young women and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable.

"Why is sexual violence so prevalent?" asked LACAAW's Executive Director Patti Giggans. "No one ever says they are for it. So if everyone is against rape and the sexual molestation of children -- how come we can't stop it? One of the main reasons is that it is a crime that occurs in the shadows and is kept secretive. It is a crime of traumatic abuse that thrives in silence. It is the bravest among us that come forward and report it -- talk about it. Survivors of these crimes will be speaking out on Denim Day in L.A."
What: Denim Day in L.A. Rally and Speak Out, and Sexual
 Assault Awareness Month Campaign

 Speakers: ABC-7 News Anchor Karen Carlson and members of the Los
 Angeles City Council.

 Who: The Los Angeles City Council will be wearing jeans, as
 well as employees of Verizon Wireless, NOKIA, Boeing,
 Staples Center, Lucky Brand Jeans and over 100,000
 others throughout Los Angeles will be wearing jeans on
 April 27th. Denim Day in L.A. is sponsored by: NOKIA,
 MJW Investments, Staples Center, OneWorld, Lucky Brand
 Jeans Councilmembers Wendy Greuel, Doug P. Zine and
 Jack Weiss and endorsed by all the rape crisis centers
 in L.A. County.

 When: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 -- Denim Day in L.A.

 Where: Rally and Speak-Out at Staples Center, Parking Lot 5.
 Located at 12th & Flower.

A[micro] To Register Participation and Order an Action Kit, or for More
Information call LACAAW at 213-955-9090 ext. 113.


Denim Day in L.A. began in 1999 as part of international protest following an Italian Supreme Court's decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans. The justices stated in their decision that, "it is common knowledge . . . that jeans cannot even be partly removed without the effective help of the person wearing them" . . . therefore it must have been consensual sex.

LACAAW is a sexual and domestic violence prevention center that has developed and implemented violence prevention programs throughout its 34-year history as a service provider to survivors of violence. Last year, LACAAW served 55,000 Los Angeles residents through its various programs.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 22, 2005
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