The Alliance has compiled
a number of resources
available for survivors,
their friends and families,
assisting survivors in
New York City.
The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault was a lead organizer of Denim Day NYC 2012,
a citywide event to raise awareness about teen dating and sexual violence on April 25, 2012
. This year’s theme was “Engaging Youth Voices Against Sexual Assault,” and we organized educational activities for youth-serving organizations and schools in all five boroughs. The Denim Day NYC 2012 website was hosted and designed by Manhattan Borough President’s Office; visit at http://www.denimdaynyc.org/
- Over 31 women’s rights, anti-violence and youth-serving organizations and 13 Rape Crisis Programs participated in Denim Day NYC.
- Nearly 7,000 New Yorkers registered online to support Denim Day 2012 - 5,000 of which registered via the Alliance’s web site. In terms of visits per city, New York was second only to Los Angeles!
- The April 24th press conference on the steps of City Hall was attended by 100 advocates, and supported by three Borough President’s Offices and 7 NYC Council Members. Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and New York City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras shared emcee duties. The speakers included Bronx Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, and Council Members Gale Brewer, Margaret Chin, Letitia James, G. Oliver Koppell, Annabel Palma, and Diana Reyna.
- Four Denim Day Proclamations were presented at the April 24th Press Conference:
- Manhattan Borough President Stringer presented a proclamation to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC), accepted by Director Susan Xenarios
- Councilwoman Ferreras presented a proclamation to the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, accepted by Executive Director Mary Haviland
- Bronx Deputy Borough President Greene presented a proclamation to Start Strong Bronx, accepted by Program Director Alexandra Smith
- Brooklyn Borough President Office Representative Xamayla Rose presented a proclamation to the YWCA of Brooklyn, accepted by Director Martha Kamber
April 25th Denim Day NYC Events:
- Borough President Scott Stringer hosted a “Self Defense Workshop and Discussion on Sexual Assault Prevention” for 80 women and girls (age 12 and up). The multigenerational training was led by three instructors from the Center for Anti-Violence Education, and held from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Marta Valle High School gymnasium
- The YWCA of Brooklyn, in concert with the Alliance and Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, organized and hosted an after-school Denim Day youth summit for 80 local teens. Youth workshops and interactive activities were offered by Anti-Violence Project NYC, Hollaback; Scenarios USA; SPARK; Urban Word NYC; Center for Anti-Violence Education and others.
- The Ridgewood YMCA, in concert with the Alliance and Queens Borough President’s Office, organized and hosted an after-school Denim Day youth summit for 70 local teens. Youth workshops and activities were facilitated by A CALL TO MEN, Hollaback, NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy, an initiative of the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, and Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) Program. Joshua Spielman, the District Communications Liaison for NYS Congressman Robert Turner, gave closing remarks.
- Start Strong Bronx organized a Denim Day banner contest for Bronx middle school students. More than 80 youth participated, and 1,600 people voted for their favorite banners online. Bronx Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene presented the three contest winners at the Denim Day Kick-off Press Conference on April 24th..
To see photos from the Denim Day NYC 2012 kick off press conference, visit the online album.
- The Red Riding Hood Project (RRHP) hosted an all-day Denim Day event on the Wagner College campus on Staten Island, featuring a Community Resource Fair and Speak Out.
The History of Denim Day
Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. The judges reasoned the victim’s tight jeans meant that she had to have helped her assailant remove them, implying consent. People all over the world were outraged, and wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.
Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, organized the country’s first Denim Day event in 1999. Under POV’s leadership, Denim Day LA & USA has grown into a national movement. In 2011, more than 2 million Americans participated in Denim Day. To learn more, go to: www.denimdayusa.org
A Public Health Issue That Affects All of Us
Sexual violence is difficult to discuss and often goes unmentioned. But 1 in 5 American women have been raped at some time in their lives – and 1 in 71 American men. Nearly 1 in 2 American women and 1 in 5 men have experienced other forms of sexual violence, including forced penetration, sexual coercion and unwanted sexual contact. And young people are at the highest risk: it is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood.