Apr 20, 2010
Robert Coombs @ (916) 446-2520 ext 325 or (916) 743-6069, Director of Public Affairs - California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Rally at the Capitol Finds Legislators and Advocates Speaking Out

Sacramento – Legislators from across the state joined sexual assault advocates in recognizing Denim Day California today, an event in which participants wear denim to “break the dress code and speak out against sexual violence.” The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault CALCASA) hosted the annual Denim Day rally held today on the West steps of the state Capitol.

This year’s event found more than 100 participants taking part in the rally, with hundreds more
inside and outside of the capitol sporting denim in their attempt to speak out against sexual violence. Nearly two dozen California Legislators and others from Department of Public Health, California Emergency Management Agency, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Victim’s Compensation and Government Claims Board joined the rally. Speaking at the event were:

  • Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña
  • Senator Mark Leno
  • Senator Christine Kehoe
  • Senator Lou Correa
  • Assemblywoman Fiona Ma
  • Assemblyman Paul Fong
  • Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada
  • Julie Nauman, Executive Officer, VCGCB

The event was sponsored in part by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.


Denim Day events are held throughout the nation in an effort to raise awareness about sexual violence and highlight the myths that are so prevalent around this crime. In 1998, an Italian Supreme Court overturned the verdict of a convicted rapist because the 17 year-old victim “wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing the jeans…it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” Within hours, women from the Italian Parliament showed solidarity in outrage over the decision by breaking the dress code and wearing jeans to work. Referring to the advancements in efforts to combat sexual violence, CALCASA’s Director of Public Affairs, Robert Coombs notes: “We have come a very long way in serving victims of sexual violence, but our work is not finished. Together, we have a long way to go.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and throughout the state, rape crisis centers are hosting activities to organize their communities to address rape and sexual assault. Adds Coombs: “It’s clear that rape and sexual assault impact California in dramatic and meaningful ways. Together, we must raise our voices, speak out, and help end this serious problem in our society. We urge people to join us as we Speak Out Against Sexual Assault during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”

CALCASA is a statewide organization in California working to end sexual violence. CALCASA’s membership is the sixty-six rape crisis centers throughout California, Campusbased rape prevention programs, and allied organizations and individuals sharing the mission to end sexual violence. View our website at CALCASA.org.