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Rape Crisis Center Extends Appreciation to The Fund for Santa Barbara

Sexual Assault Awareness Month aims to increase understanding and inspire action

The Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center would like to thank The Fund for Santa Barbara for its sponsorship of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and for joining SBRCC in its vision to end sexual violence.

Each year during April, the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center joins organizations across the nation in recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the purpose of which is to increase understanding and encourage community members to take action to prevent sexual violence.

Events throughout April, combined with the broad spectrum of prevention throughout the year, brings SBRCC closer to achieving its vision of ending sexual violence and creating a culture of equity and respect.

“Sexual Assault Awareness Month presents our community with another opportunity to learn about the realities of sexual assault and the steps that each of us can take to prevent sexual violence,” SBRCC Executive Director Elsa Granados said. “It is important to develop viable solutions to prevent the crime.”

The goal of this year’s campaign, “Jeans for Justice,” has been to spread the message that the way in which a person dresses does not invite sexual violence.

The campaign is based off Denim Day, which was born after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the justices said that jeans, which the survivor was wearing, are not easily removed without cooperation, and “impossible” to remove if someone is resisting. Therefore, according to the chief justice, the act must have been consensual and not a sexual assault. When people hear this, they readily see that that this is not a reasonable argument. This gave the SBRCC the opportunity to talk about and debunk the myth that the way in which a person dresses may invite sexual assault.

The SBRCC has been working since 1974 to support survivors of sexual assault and end sexual violence. It offers a 24-hour hotline, crisis and long-term counseling, support groups, self-defense programs and sexual assault prevention education programs. All services are offered in Spanish and English and are available regardless of ability to pay. The SBRCC is an inclusive organization that welcomes individuals of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races, classes, abilities and ages.

— Erika Martin del Campo is a community education coordinator for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.

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