Each year during April, Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center (SBRCC) joins organizations across the nation in recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The purpose of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to increase understanding and encourage community members to take action to prevent sexual violence. Events throughout the month of April, combined with the broad spectrum of prevention throughout the year, brings us closer to achieving our vision of ending sexual violence and creating a culture of equity and respect. SBRCC Executive Director Elsa Granados stated: “Sexual Assault Awareness Month presents our community with another opportunity to learn about the realities of sexual assault and the steps that each of us can take to prevent sexual violence. It is important to develop viable solutions to prevent the crime.”
The goal of this year’s campaign “Jeans for Justice,” has been spread the message that the way in which a person dresses does not invite sexual violence. Our campaign is based off of Denim Day, which was born
after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because they said that jeans, which the survivor
was wearing, are not easily removed without cooperation, and “impossible” to remove if someone is resisting.
Therefore, according to the Chief Justice, the act must have been consensual and not a sexual assault. When
people hear this, they readily see that that this is not a reasonable argument. This gave us the opportunity to talk about and debunk the myth that the way in which a person dresses may invite sexual assault.
SBRCC has been working since 1974 to support survivors of sexual assault and end sexual violence. SBRCC
offers a 24-hour hotline, crisis and long-term counseling, support groups, self-defense programs, and sexual
assault prevention education programs. All services are offered in Spanish and English and are available
regardless of ability to pay. SBRCC is an inclusive organization that welcomes individuals of all gender
identities, sexual orientations, races, classes, abilities, and ages.