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Zontians encourage the community to make a statement

LIHU‘E — The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i encourages the community to join them for National Denim Day on Wednesday, when they make a social statement with their fashion.

Adopting a theme of Denim on Denim, the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i says Denim Day is a call to action for all people to come together by wearing denim, as a visible sign of protest against sexual violence.

The month of April has been proclaimed by the County of Kaua‘i as Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month. The designation was supported by the YWCA of Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i District Health Office, Kaua‘i Police Department and Office of the Prosecuting Attorney through the planting of pinwheel gardens fronting their respective offices and headquarters.

In previous years, the various county departments have participated in the observance by having its employees dress in denim for Denim Day.

During a recent sign waving event recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month on O‘ahu, fronting the state Capitol, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, a statewide program of the Kapl‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children reported SATC provided specialized services to 1,750 callers via its 24/7 crisis hotline, 808-524-7273.

SATC said there were 738 survivors, who connected with SATC for the first time during 2022. Of these, 53 percent were children — 7 percent being under the age of 5, 46 percent between 5 to 12 years old, and 47 percent being 13 to 17 years old.

“Wear as much denim as possible, start with denim jeans, then add more denim, including denim jacket, denim vest, and denim shoes,” the Zonta Club said in a press release.

The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i encourages community members, elected officials, state and county employees, businesses, survivors, organizations, and students to make a social statement with their fashion on Denim Day.

“Wear denim with a purpose to support survivors, and to educate yourself and others about sexual assault,” the Zonta Club said. “No matter what, clothing is never an excuse for sexual assault. You can bring awareness to Denim Day by taking a selfie and posting it on social media and tag #DenimDay.”

Denim Day was originally triggered by a ruling from the Italian Supreme Court, which overturned a rape conviction because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove the jeans thereby implying consent.

In protest, women of the Italian Parliament wore jeans to work.

In 1999, a social service agency in Los Angeles established the first Denim Day, which remains an integral part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Zonta International, a global organization of more than 30,000 members in more than 60 countries, says “NO to Violence Against Women” and supports Denim Day as a visual protest. The Zonta Club of Kaua‘i is a chapter of Zonta International, whose mission is to empower women through service and advocacy.

Source: The Garden Island

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