Mayor Elliot Rothman and City Council members Ginna Escobar and Debra Martin honored the city’s annual Denim Day Wednesday at the Pomona Civic Plaza.
Denim Day originated in 1997 after an 18-year-old woman was allegedly raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor in Rome.
“The event brings a lot of awareness to an issue that is not usually talked about,” said Brittaney Morales, a volunteer at the event. “People don’t really want to talk about violence, sexual assault or domestic abuse but for someone to put an event against all that is something really positive,”
The Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction because the victim wore tight jeans.
They assumed she had helped the attacker take them off, making the sexual activity consensual in their eyes.
Outrage spread worldwide against the ruling and international protests were made by wearing denim jeans in support of the victim.
“It is important for the city of Pomona and women to know that it is never okay for sexual assault to happen,” Rothman said.
“We wanted to create a community event that was fun because rape and sexual assault can be a difficult issue to talk about,” Sophia Lopez, prevention services coordinator said. “We wanted something that was fun, young, and would be able to break the silence around sexual violence.”
The event was brought together by Project Sister, an organization that dedicates support for women who have experienced sexual violence.
The agency reaches 27 cities that are within San Bernardino County as well as Los Angeles County.
“We wanted something that was fun, young and would be able to break the silence around sexual violence,” Lopez said. “Our goal is always to reach as many people as possible.”
“The demographic we try to reach is teenagers since they are at the highest risk to experience sexual violence,” Lopez said.
“We want to get the school districts to get on board with us to get information into the homes of the parents, to the teens of the schools and have all the high schools conjoin with us,” Christina Jimenez, prevention education specialist said.
Karla Rendon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.