Legislators, elected policy makers, state agencies and associations from across the state joined sexual assault advocates in recognizing Denim Day California today, an event in which participants wear denim to “break the dress code and speak out against sexual violence.”
The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) hosted the Denim Day Pledge signing today on the South Steps of the state Capitol. The event was sponsored in part by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. Over 40 legislators and policy makers turned out for the event and pledged their support for ending sexual violence.
Legislators and Elected Policymakers who supported Denim Day:

  • Assemblemember Lois Wolk
  • Assemblmember Jean Fuller
  • Assemblymember Betty Karnette
  • Assemblymember Bill Maze
  • Assemblymember Cameron Smyth
  • Assemblymember Fiona Ma
  • Assemblymember Hector De La Torre
  • Assemblymember Lois Wolk
  • Assemblymember Loni Hancock
  • Assemblymember Lori Saldana
  • Assemblymember Mike Eng
  • Assemblymember Nicole Parra
  • Assemblymember Noreen Evans
  • Assemblymember Wilma Amina Carter
  • Assemblymember Jose Solario
  • Assemblmember Patty Berg
  • Assemblymember Martin Garrick
  • Assemblymember Doug Lamalfa
  • Assemblymember Sharon Runner
  • Assemblymember Anna Caballero
  • Senator Elaine Alquist
  • Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod
  • Senator Gloria Romero
  • Senator Jeff Denham
  • Senator Jenny Oropeza
  • Senator Patricia Wiggins
  • Senator Sheila Kuehl
  • Judy Chu, PhD, Chair State Board of Equalization
  • Secretary of State Debra Bowen

State Agencies and Associations who Supported Denim Day:

  • Office of the Governor
  • Office of the Secretary of State
  • Office of Emergency Services
  • California Department of Justice
  • California Attorney General’s Office
  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • California Board of Equalization
  • Commission on the Status of Women
  • Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board
  • California Victim Witness Program
  • California State Sheriff’s Association
  • Crime Victims Action Alliance
  • Crime Victims United

Inside the Capitol, many staffers broke out of their traditional formal dress code for the day and wore denim.

Denim Day events are held throughout the nation in an effort to raise awareness about sexual violence and highlight the myths that are so prevalent around this crime. In 1998, an Italian Supreme Court overturned the verdict of a convicted rapist because the 17 year-old victim “wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing the jeans…it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” Within hours, women from the Italian Parliament showed solidarity in outrage over the decision by breaking the dress code and wearing jeans to work.
Referring to the advancements in efforts to combat sexual violence, CALCASA’s Executive Director, Suzanne Brown-McBride notes: “Denim Day is an important opportunity for legislators and policy makers to stand up and speak out against sexual assault. CALCASA works with these leaders all year in trying to bring an end to sexual violence and we are proud to stand with them today commemorating this event.”
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and throughout the state, rape crisis centers are hosting activities to organize their communities to address rape and sexual assault.