Yesterday, legislators from across the state joined sexual assault advocates in recognizing Denim Day California, an event in which participants wear denim to “break the dress code and speak out against sexual violence.” CALCASA hosted the annual Denim Day rally on the West steps of the state Capitol.
There were about 150 participants taking part in the rally, with hundreds more inside and outside of the capitol sporting denim to speak out against sexual violence. More than two dozen California Legislators and others from the California Emergency Management Agency and California rape crisis centers joined the rally. Speaking at the event were:

  • Executive Director Sandra Henriquez, CALCASA
  • Senator Elaine K. Alquist, California’s 13th Senate District
  • Senator Noreen Evans, California’s 2nd Senate District
  • Senator Doug LaMalfa, California’s 4th Senate District
  • Senator Kevin De Leon, California’s 22nd Senate District
  • Senator Mark Leno, California’s 3rd Senate District
  • Senator Darrell Steinberg, California’s 6th Senate District
  • Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, California’s 13th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, California’s 54th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Fiona Ma, California’s 12th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez, California’s 80th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Steven Bradford, California’s 51st Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, California’s 44th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Cameron Smyth, California’s 38th Assembly District
  • Acting Secretary Mike Dayton, California Emergency Management Agency

The event was sponsored in part by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.
In 1999, the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans. The Judge argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them,” concluding “it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” Wearing jeans is a symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault.
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.

Photos of the event can be found here.