The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has dusted off her denim and teamed up with Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault (GCASA) to promote ‘Global Denim Day’.
Ms Bath said Global Denim Day occurs annually in April and involves wearing denim to publicly say there is no excuse for sexual assault and violence in our community.
“It is important to raise awareness and encourage our community to come together and respect and protect all people against the trauma of sexual assault and violence.
“A very important message advocated by Global Denim Day is ‘no excuse. “Through the ongoing education performed by organisations such as GCASA and supporting Denim Day, Gippslanders can make a difference and help put a stop violence in our community.
Since COVID-19, GCASA has experienced a 25% increase in the number of sexual assault calls and referrals to their intake team.
In Australia statistics show most sexual violence occurs in the home and from the age of 15, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 22 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime.
Ms Bath said has called on the Andrews Labor Government to provide extra funding for GCASA to help address the alarming increase in violence and sexual assaults in Gippsland.
“It is important that GCASA is adequately funded so victims are provided with the confidence and mechanisms to come forward and obtain support.
“Over the past years there have been some horrific cases of sexual assault and violence occur in Victoria that attracted an outpouring of grief within the community, however many others went unreported,” said Ms Bath.
“It is important that we continue the campaign that any form of sexual assault or violence is completely unacceptable regardless of age, ethnicity or gender.
“No matter what we wear, there is never a justification for violence and sexual assault.
“Today on Global Denim Day I am encouraging Gippslanders to talk to their friends and family about this important topic. I also extend my congratulations to GCASA’s hardworking team or their continued advocacy and support of individual who have suffered sexual assault and violence.”
Global Denim Day Background
Wear Denim Day evolved after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a conviction of a 45- year-old man who raped an 18 year woman all because she was wearing tight denim jeans in 1992. The presiding judge ruled the sex must have been consensual on the basis the girl’s jeans were tight, concluding it would have taken two people to remove them. The judgement caused worldwide disbelief and the following day Women in the Italian Parliament all wore denim jeans in protest.