The Alliance has compiled a number of resources available for survivors, their friends and families, and professionals assisting survivors in New York City.
BP Celebrates Denim Day, Encourages Sexual Violence PreventionApril 27, 2011
by Catherine Rolfe
Borough President Scott Stringer helped to celebrate the first city-wide observance of Denim Day on Wednesday, an international event aimed at raising awareness about sexual violence.
“I am alarmed by the recent spike in reported sexual assaults,” BP Stringer said. “[It is] a trend we cannot let continue.”
He added that he hoped this year’s Denim Day celebration would help to “bring the problem of sexual assault to the forefront and break down the cultural forces that support it”.
Studies have shown that New York City struggles with disproportionately high rates of sexual assaults on young people. In 2008, one study of New York City high school students found that 1 in 6 teens (16.2%) had experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives - nearly twice the national average.
In order to combat this growing trend, the BP partnered with the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault to host a Denim Day discussion in which participants could “strategize about the best ways to protect New York’s college students from sexual violence”. Students, university representatives and community groups from around the city gathered to discuss strategies for involving men in gender-based violence prevention on campus, improving university sexual assault policy and getting students involved in campus efforts to prevent sexual violence.
The forum’s timing fit well with national news this month. Recently, Vice President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that colleges and secondary schools both public and private will receive letters this year describing their duties under Title IX, the federal civil rights law banning sexual discrimination, harassment and violence. Forum participants hoped that BP Stringer’s event would help schools citywide to re-evaluate their stances on sexual assault policies and create real, lasting change.
“The enthusiastic response from schools and youth-serving organizations to participate in Denim Day activities underscores the need for programming that addresses teen dating and sexual violence,” New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault Director Harriet Lessel said. “It is our hope that Denim Day sparks ongoing discussions about how we as individuals, communities and institutions can help our youth to confront and solve the problem of teen-on-teen violence.”
Go to this article on In a Manhattan Minute »
← previous article | next article →