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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a campaign to prevent sexual violence through education and public awareness.

Denim Day, designated on Wednesday, April 27th, is an important component of the campaign.

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.

On April 27th, the public is invited to attend a Denim Day Proclamation ceremony by Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. at 12:00 pm at the Lihue Civic Center, Mo’ikeha Courtyard (Rotunda) .

Wear denim with a purpose to support survivors, and to educate yourself and others about sexual assault. No matter what, clothing is never an excuse for sexual assault.

The Zonta Club of Kauai and Zonta Club of Hanalei are working together to encourage community members, elected officials, state and local government employees, businesses, organizations and students to make a social statement with their fashion on April 27th by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault on Denim Day.

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

Denim Day was originally triggered by a ruling from the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans thereby implying consent. Women of the Italian Parliament protested the decision by wearing jeans to work. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest.

The Zonta Club of Kauai and Zonta Club of Hanalei are chapters of Zonta International, a global organization of over 30,000 members in 67 countries, whose mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. All Zonta members believe the best way to improve the lives of women and girls is through advocacy and education.

Zonta organizations locally and around the globe advocate to “Say NO to Violence Against Women,” a similar campaign to end violence again women and girls worldwide.

To learn more about the two Zonta Clubs on Kauai, visit their websites at: www.zonta-kauai.org and www.zontaclubofhanalei.com or Zonta International, visit its website at: www.zonta.org

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