NV Lawmakers Recognize 'Denim Day' in Support of Sexual Violence Survivors
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Nevada lawmakers on Wednesday recognized 'Denim Day,' to rally against sexual violence by wearing denim during the Senate floor session.
Denim Day began after an Italian Supreme Court ruling overturned a rape conviction when the justices alleged the victim - who was said to have worn tight jeans - must have helped her attacker remove them, implying consent.
State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro - D-Las Vegas - who worked as a prosecutor for more than a decade, said when survivors of sexual crimes come forward to share their experience, they are often blamed for what happened.
"I know that we can do better, for survivors and for victims," said Cannizzaro. "And so, I just want everyone to know that the denim you see today is a statement that no one deserves or asks to be a victim of sexual violence or sexual assault."
Cannizzaro said she is proud of the work the Nevada Legislature has done to help de-stigmatize and support survivors of sexual violence.
She said since 2017, the state has passed laws to accelerate timelines for rape-kit processing, as well as expand privacy protections for people who've been taken advantage of by those who use their authority to commit sexual assault.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds.
One in six women has had to deal with the threat of rape, but men and boys are also victims of sexual violence - as one out of every 10 rape victims is male.
Democratic state Sen. Melanie Scheible - D-Las Vegas - called it "heartening" to see how many of her colleagues were wearing denim in Wednesday's session.
"We stand in solidarity with victim survivors," said Scheible, "and will continue to fight to make this a better place for them to live, where they have equal access to justice."
Lawmakers realize there's a lot of work still to be done.
RAINN states the vast majority of perpetrators don't see any prison or jail time for their crimes. Out of 1,000 sexual assaults, 975 perpetrators walk free.
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