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 100 participants taking part in the rally, with more inside and outside of the capitol sporting denim to speak out against sexual violence. More than one dozen California Legislators and others from the California Emergency Management Agency and California rape crisis centers joined the rally. Speaking at the event were:

  • Associate Director Ellen Yin-Wycoff, CALCASA
  • Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, California’s 33rd Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Marty Block, California’s 78th Senate District
  • Assemblymember Betsy Butler, California’s 50th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Connie Conway, California’s 34th Assembly District
  • Senator Ellen Corbett, California 10th Senate District
  • Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, California’s 9th Assembly District
  • Senator Noreen Evans, California’s 2nd Senate District
  • Assemblymember Paul Fong, California’s 22nd Assembly District
  • Senator Jean Fuller, California’s 18th Senate District
  • Senator Doug LaMalfa, California’s 4th Senate District
  • Senator Mark Leno, California’s 3rd Senate District
  • Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, California’s 54th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Fiona Ma, California’s 12th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell, California’s 54th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, California’s 44th Assembly District
  • Assemblymember Das Williams, California’s 35th Assembly District
  • Senator Roderick D. Wright, California’s 25th Senate District
  • Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, California’s 8th Assembly District
  • Undersecretary 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.