SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Borough of South Plainfield’s employees participated in the National Wear Denim Day on April 28, 2015. Denim Day takes place during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual Assault Awareness month raises awareness of sexual assault and sexual abuse in society.
The Denim Day activities were spearheaded by Mayor Anesh’s secretary and confidential assistant Anne Daley. Daley asked the Borough’s employees to participate in National Wear Denim Day and wear jeans and donate $5.00 to the Domestic Violence Response Team of South Plainfield. Wearing jeans on this day has become an international symbol to help promote awareness of rape and sexual assault. “Every February for the past three years we have been participating “Go Red for Women” and have gotten a great response. When “Wear Denim Day” was announced I figured it’s a great way to collect money and donate it to The South Plainfield Domestic Violence Team. While participating in these days is a wonderful way to donate money to impressive causes, it also brings the Borough employees together in support of a great cause,” said Daley.
In 1992, in Rome, Italy a 45 year old driving instructor was accused of raping an 18 year old girl, the first day of her driving lesson. He was arrested, tried and convicted, but he appealed the case and the Italian Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. The argument stated, “because the victim wore very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing the jeans…it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” This ruling outrage women in the Italian Parliament and following the ruling the women in protest wore jeans as a sign of support for the victim. The protest was throughout Italy and is now observed in the United States as a way to raise awareness about sexual assault and the misconceptions that surround it.
Anne Daley raised $150.00 which will be donated to the Domestic Violence Response Team. Marge Ackerman, who is the co-coordinator of the DVRT with Sandi Cassio, was on hand for the event in Borough Hall. Marge has been on the team since 1997 and stated, “We are a team of 8 women who are on call everyday, 7 days a week and report to the police department when called. The money raised for Denim Day will help pay for nylon backpacks which are being distributed to raise awareness regarding anti-bullying which goes hand to hand with domestic violence. “
The domestic violence team is composed of trained citizens who respond to the police department on an “on-call” basis. All volunteers go through a rigorous screening process followed by an intensive training. Volunteers are able to speak to victims in a confidential nature and provide emotional support, information on domestic violence, community resources and a safety plan.