City of West Hollywood Recognizes April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Hollywood City Staff gathered at City Hall for a traditional portrait of city employees wearing their best denim to commemorate Denim Day 2022.
Each year, the City encourages community members to wear jeans on Denim Day, which was yesterday, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Denim Day is an internationally recognized day to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. It was founded by the nonprofit organization Peace Over Violence following a 1999 court ruling in Italy in which a rape conviction case was overturned with the argument that, because the victim had been wearing tight jeans at the time of the assault, she must have been expressing consent. Each year, City staff members and public safety partners recognize Denim Day by wearing denim, including the participation of Deputies and personnel from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station. Denim Day 2022 recognition was organized by the City’s Public Safety Department in the spirit of uniting against sexual assault, to break the silence about sexual violence, and to stand up in support of survivors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 women in America experiences a rape or attempted rape, and nearly 44% of women and about 25% of all men experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Within the LGBTQ community, approximately 1 in 8 lesbian women (13%) and nearly half of bisexual women (46%), have been raped in their lifetime; four in 10 gay men (40%), and nearly half of bisexual men (47%) have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime. According to a 2015 U.S. Trans Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, approximately 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
The City of West Hollywood is continuing its work to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent with its “Only Yes Means Yes” campaign. First launched in 2016, the #onlyYes campaign was expanded in 2021 with additional focused outreach, graphics, and messaging in and around nightlife establishments. Community members can amplify the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month message by using the hashtags #DenimDay, #OnlyYes and #Consent.
If you or someone you care about has been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence or intimate partner stalking, there are resources to help.
The Los Angeles County Rape and Battering Hotline, Peace Over Violence, a confidential non-judgmental resource where emotional support, advocacy, information, and referrals are available, can be reached 24-hours-a-day by contacting (213) 626-3393 or (310) 392-8381 or at www.peaceoverviolence.org.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STOP Violence Program works to increase access to mental health and supportive services for LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and intimate partner abuse. Call (323) 860-5806 or email STOPviolence@lalgbtcenter.org.
The Jewish Family Service’s Family Violence Program provides confidential 24-hour crisis lines for victims of abuse by contacting (310) 858-9344 (English/Spanish); (818) 464.2864 (Farsi) and (310) 858-9344 (Jewish Orthodox).
The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), organizes the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, a referral service that can put you in contact with your local rape crisis center. The hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at (800) 656-4673, or access RAINN’s chat feature for help at www.rainn.org.
The City of West Hollywood provides a variety of helpful tips on its website regarding safety and prevention. To find out more information, please visit www.weho.org/publicsafety. For more information about Denim Day 2022, please call the City’s Public Safety Department at (323) 848-6414.