By Delta Company, 53rd Signal BattalionMay 8, 2013
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, WAHIAWA ANNEX, Hawaii -- April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the Department of Defense, and this year's theme was 'We own it; we'll solve it, together.'
The Defenders of Delta Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON) in Wahiawa, Hawaii, decided to do their part to help solve the problem of sexual assault not only in the military, but in the community as well. Delta Company held a Denim Day April 23-24 to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month and raise funds for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii.
Denim Day at Delta Company was organized by unit victim advocate Staff Sgt. Adam Tripses and his wife, Samantha. In addition to showing support by wearing blue jeans, Delta Company raised almost $300 for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii. The center, located in Honolulu, is a program of Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children and provides treatment services for survivors of sexual assault, prevention and education, and effects change through public policy.
"The statewide program supports adults, teenagers, and children, both female and male," said Tripses. "This event gave Delta Company a chance to show their support for ending sexual assault in the Army and the community."
Denim Day is a sexual violence prevention and education campaign held every year since 1999, where community members, elected officials, businesses and students are asked to make a social statement with a fashion statement by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
The day stems from a 1997 rape trial in Italy where the conviction was overturned the following year by the Italian Supreme Court on the basis that the jeans worn by the victim were so tight that the offender must have had help from her to take them off, making the act consensual. The women of the Italian Parliament protested the ruling by wearing jeans to work, and the idea spread worldwide and became an annual event. The event was originally organized by Peace Over Violence, a non-profit organization established in 1971 and dedicated to preventing sexual and domestic violence.