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Survivors, Advocates, Community-based Organizations Started with Brooklyn Borough Hall event, Marched over Brooklyn Bridge, Rallied in Foley Square

NEW YORK:_____ The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) and the Denim Day NYC (also known as the Denim Day NYC Planning Committee) hosted Denim Day NYC 2022 today with a brief opening ceremony for survivors and advocates at Brooklyn Borough Hall before they marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to rally against sexual violence in Manhattan’s Foley Square.

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM), and an important part of SVAM is Denim Day, which takes place each year on the last Wednesday of April when people across the world wear denim to raise awareness of sexual violence, stand up for survivors, and speak out against societal myths and attitudes that normalize and perpetuate sexual violence. Each April since 2010, ENDGBV and the Denim Day NYC, a coalition of survivors, advocates, community organizations, city council members, and city agencies have come together to plan educational and outreach events throughout the City, culminating in a march and rally on Denim Day. Tomorrow in the Bronx, ENDGBV and the Denim Day NYC will host a 4pm march with Bronx-based survivors and advocates, community-based organizations, and students from local colleges starting at the corner of Grand Concourse and Mount Eden Parkway. Additionally, the Staten Island District Attorney’s office will host a 1pm rally tomorrow in partnership with ENDGBV, the Denim Day NYC and Safe Horizon at the Staten Island Family Justice Center (10 Richmond Terrace.) For additional Denim Day events, please visit to the Denim Day website.

 

“Sexual violence and assault can happen to anyone, which is why we stand united in the fight to support survivors of gender-based violence,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Today, on Denim Day, and every day, we recommit ourselves to fighting sexual violence and assault and to seeking justice against those who perpetrate such acts.”

“Today’s march and rally highlights the prevalence of sexual violence on a local and national level,” said Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel. “Side by side with the Denim Day NYC, our partner agencies, community-based organizations, elected officials, and survivors we march not only to support survivors but to empower them. The city is here for survivors, and our commitment to them never wavers.”

“Safe Horizon is proud to stand in solidarity and in community with survivors and advocates this Denim Day,” said Jimmy Meagher, Policy Director, Safe Horizon and Secretary, Denim Day NYC. “We are a proud member of Denim Day NYC, which hasn’t been able to march or rally since before this pandemic, and we are excited to once again join together in person to demand an end to sexual violence once and for all. A future free of violence is possible, and we are committed to working alongside our community to create that future.”

If you, or someone you know, is seeking support regarding sexual violence, free and confidential help is always available. Find resources and support in NYC by searching the NYCHope Resource Directory, or call 311 to be connected to the nearest NYC Family Justice Center.

You are not alone, you are never alone, and help is here for you.

“For the last 23 years, Denim Day has reminded us that there is never an excuse or invitation for sexual assault, harassment, and abuse, and that we must keep fighting against harmful attitudes that normalize and apologize for violence,” said Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director of the Commission on Gender Equity. “The Commission on Gender Equity will continue to work with our partners and all New Yorkers to realize our vision of a city free from sexual, domestic, and gender-based violence.”

“Today, we come together to support survivors of gender-based violence and sexual assault, which has no place in New York City,” said Annabel PalmaCommissioner and Chair of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “Survivors should never be victims of discrimination at home, on the job, or when seeking employment. The City’s Human Rights Law makes it illegal for landlords or employers to continue the cycle of trauma by discriminating against someone due to their status as survivors of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking. The NYC Commission on Human Rights is here to ensure that protection. Anyone that has experienced or witnessed this kind of discrimination can file a complaint or leave an anonymous tip by calling (212) 416-0197 or 311 and ask for ‘human rights.’”

“Today’s observation of Denim Day reminds us of the terrible reality that victims of sexual assault are often re-victimized and re-traumatized by a system that is biased and unfair due to centuries of not believing the accuser,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “We must become better as a society to condemn sexual assault perpetrators and support our survivors, ensuring they get the justice they deserve.”

“Today we wear denim to recognize Denim Day where we stand unified against violence against women,” said City Council Member Amanda Farías. “Women face violence every day, and what you wear should not dictate your consent to anyone. More women in higher office, positions of leadership, and in our workforce does not mean that violence towards women stops overnight. Change requires action. As Co-Chair of the Womens Caucus, survivors should not be the only people who are fighting against sexual violence it has to be every one of us, every day.”

“At BK Style Foundation / Fashion Week Brooklyn, we are always advocating for the community, supporting community,” said BK Style Foundation Director Rick Davy. “And Denim Day NYC is a good reminder of why this is important as a collective of organizations comes together to support and advocate for the survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence on Denim Day and beyond the actual day of awareness. This is an important cause for our fashion community of models and creatives.”

“Nobody should have to experience sexual assault, said Hailey Nolasco, Director of Community-Based Violence Prevention, Center for Court Innovation, RISE Project.

“Denim Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness about sexual assault and fulfill our responsibility to teach our communities about boundaries and consent. It’s important that we stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault in our City and across the world today on Denim Day and everyday. We must continue to amplify the voices and experiences of survivors and put an end to the victim blaming and shame so many who come forward experience. Survivors deserve safe spaces to come forward for the support they need and feel seen, valued, and respected.”

“For over 30 years, Rising Ground’s STEPS to End Family Violence program has been helping New Yorkers of all ages heal and providing year-round education in our RAPP and Early RAPP schools to prevent abuse from happening at all,” said Connie Márquez, Vice President of Community Services and Strategic Partnerships with Rising Ground / STEPS to End Family Violence. “It is our honor to collaborate each year with the Denim Day Committee, a unique and passionate public-private partnership. This year, we have over 75 students marching alongside us wearing their denim-designed outfits!”

 

“Denim Day is a powerful example of the kind of survivor-led organizing and community solidarity that is needed to transform our society and bring us closer to a future free from sexual violence,” said Kelly Guajardo, Manager, Community Engagement Program with Violence Intervention Program.

“Denim Day raises awareness about sexual violence,” said Shan Huang, Associate Director of Special Programs with WomanKind. “On this day, Womankind wears denim to protect against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual violence, and to stand in solidarity with all survivors of sexual violence. Every day, our community are endlessly humbled and moved by survivors’ strengths and resilience. Womankind continues our commitment to serving survivors of gender-based violence and inspiring action to rise above violence.”

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About The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence

The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) develops policies and programs, provides training and prevention education, conducts research and evaluations, performs community outreach, and operates the New York City Family Justice Centers. ENDGBV collaborates with City agencies and community stakeholders to ensure access to inclusive services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence (GBV). GBV can include intimate partner and family violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. Read more about the term.

ENDGBV’S NYC Family Justice Centers are co‐located multidisciplinary service centers providing vital social services including mental health counseling, civil legal, and criminal justice assistance for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and their children—all under one roof. All services are free, confidential, and available to survivors of intimate partner and family violence, stalking, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and elder abuse.  We welcome people of all ages, sexual orientations, and gender identities, regardless of language spoken, income, or immigration status.

About Denim Day NYC

Denim Day NYC is a coalition of survivors, advocates, community organizations, city council members, and city agencies working together to raise awareness about sexual assault. Denim Day NYC hosts events throughout the year all around NYC to promote awareness about sexual assault and connect New Yorkers to resources. Since 2010, Denim Day NYC has hosted a rally and press conference in April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to unite New Yorkers around the issue of sexual assault and show solidarity with survivors.

About “Denim Day”

Denim Day is an annual global day of action on the last Wednesday of April- Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM). Denim Day began as protest to a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. The judge concluded that the victim “must have helped her assailant remove her jeans” and therefore gave consent. People were outraged around the world, and wearing jeans became an international symbol to assert that there is never an excuse for sexual violence. In 2010, Denim Day NYC, a coalition of advocates, city agencies and survivors, was established to march in honor of survivors everywhere, to raise awareness, spread information, and move to end sexual violence around the world.

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