• Denim jeans have special meaning for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In 1992, an 18-year-old girl was raped in Italy by her driving instructor. She initially won her legal case, but then it was overturned by the High Court, which stated that, since she was wearing tight jeans, the rapist could not possibly have done it by himself. She must have removed the jeans and, therefore, willingly participated. The women of the Italian legislature protested by wearing jeans. In 1999, California became the first state to declare a Denim Day in honor of victims of sexual assault.

    Sexual Assault Awareness Month Denim Day

    Denim jeans have special meaning for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In 1992, an 18-year-old girl was raped in Italy by her driving instructor. She initially won her legal case, but then it was overturned by the High Court, which stated that, since she...

  • Grace Mann, a 5th grade student at Helemano Elementary School, won the 2012 CAPM Poster Contest, with her entry pictured above.

    Child Abuse Prevention Month poster

    Grace Mann, a 5th grade student at Helemano Elementary School, won the 2012 CAPM Poster Contest, with her entry pictured above.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- What do quilts, denim and your support have to do with child abuse and sexual assault?

Plenty, as was explained at this year's Child Abuse Prevention Month, or CAPM, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, or SAAM, proclamation signing, here, Friday.

The proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month, with its theme of "It's no secret … everyone can help. Keep Army children safe and healthy," encourages community support and participation.

The truth is, child abuse happens and has a profound effect on its victims. It affects the child, the family, the Soldier, the community and the mission.

Child abuse must stop.

"Our children cannot speak up for themselves. We must be their voice," said Deidra Saina, military spouse.

The second proclamation designates April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. The signing is aligned with the Department of the Army's "I A.M. Strong" prevention campaign, and supports the month's theme, "Achieving cultural change through dignity and respect. I am the force behind the fight."

Following the reading of both proclamations, Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI, signed both proclamations and reaffirmed the installation's awareness, support and prevention of child abuse and sexual assaults.

Following up on last year's successful use of CAPM quilts in building awareness, this year's ceremony included an unveiling of the SAAM quilt handmade by ACS volunteer Ana Despault.

The quilt, made of denim and decorated by community members, honors survivors of sexual assault.

"It must be understood that reaching for help is not confessing weakness," said Summer Rosa-Mullen, Family Advocacy Program, Army Community Service, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, USAG-HI. "When you ask for help, you are announcing to the world that you are a survivor and that, with the right resources, there is nothing that you cannot overcome."

Family Advocacy Program

•Call the FAP at 655-0669 to learn how you can help prevent child abuse and sexual assault.

•To report a sexual assault, call the 24/7 Safeline hotline at 624-SAFE (7233).

Page last updated Mon April 2nd, 2012 at 00:00