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Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month was born from a grassroots movement in the 1970s, comprised mainly of women engaging in protests like Take Back the Night marches. Eventually, protestors began to organize and form coalitions and ver time, these coalitions formally incorporated sexual assault prevention and awareness events into their programs.
By the late 1980s, one week in April was selected to promote national awareness of the issue. Sexual Assault Awareness Month was first officially observed in April 2001, and the month-long awareness campaign recognized and honored by the federal government.
"In the last 20 years, our Nation has made meaningful progress toward addressing sexual assault. Where victims were once left without recourse, laws have opened a path to safety and justice; where a culture of fear once kept violence hidden, survivors are more empowered to speak out and get help. But even today, too many women, men, and children suffer alone or in silence, burdened by shame or unsure anyone will listen. This month, we recommit to changing that tragic reality by stopping sexual assault before it starts and ensuring victims get the support they need."
- President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, 2013
Read more about Sexual Assault Awareness Month on the National Sexual Violence Resource Center website here.
Denim Day During Sexual Assault Awareness Month
During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Joyful Heart has proudly participated in Denim Day, an award-winning annual sexual violence prevention and education campaign started by our Los Angeles-based partner, Peace Over Violence. It grew out of a 1990s Italian Supreme Court case in which the Court's decision 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.