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Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi event set for April 27

Many offices allow workers to dress down on Fridays, being dubbed “casual Fridays” around the nation.

However, on April 27, Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi are giving workers a second day during the week to wear jeans to work while raising awareness of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and raise funds to help survivors of sexually violent crimes.

“Jeans for Justice Day” movement began in 1998 when the Italian Supreme Court overturned the rape conviction of a 45-year-old driving instructor. He had been convicted of raping an 18-year-old student and was originally sentenced to more than two years of incarceration. The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court because the victim was wearing jeans at the time of her assault. The court believed that a woman wearing jeans could not be raped, as her jeans could not be removed without her consent. This unpopular verdict quickly became an international symbol of rape-myth acceptance leading to the re-victimization of rape survivors.

“Jeans for Justice Day” was designed to allow local businesses, schools, and organizations to get involved in the fight to stop sexual violence. For a donation of $5 or more, buy you the right to wear jeans on April 27 as a way to recognize rape survivors, as well as other victims of crime, in the community.

“By each individual buying the right to wear blue jeans, they show their support of these survivors, while their donation helps to support the services and programs provided by Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi, Inc.,” said Mary-Margaret Chaffe, program assistant/ advocate for Family Crisis Services.

It is estimated that one in three women and one in six men in the United States are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.  However, only 10 percent of these assaults are ever reported to law enforcement.

“By participating in Jeans for Justice Day, your department will give a voice to an often silent crime,” Chaffe said.

Offices, schools or other organizations wishing to participate should call 662-234-9929 or email marymargaret.fcs@gmail.com to receive the necessary registration form. Supplies and directions for collecting donations will be provided. Registration ends April 24.