City of Joplin employees take a stand against rape by wearing jeans. Wearing jeans during Sexual Assault Awareness month became an international symbol against the common attitudes about rape in 1993, when an Italian high court reasoned that since a victim wore tight jeans, the accused suspect could not have removed the jeans by himself, so the victim must have willingly participated.
City employees say they want their stand to mean a unified message against rape.
"I want the perpetrator to know that if the woman or man says no, they need to stop. It doesn't mean if you think you deserve it, it doesn't matter if you think he or she wants it, if they say no, you stop," says Cynthia Burnham, a medical services coordinator with the City of Joplin.
"I want the women or men who have been raped to know that they can come forward anytime. There is a rape hotline in Joplin. It is 782-7273 and they can call and they can get help for themselves," says Burnham.
In April of 1999, the State of California established the first Denim Day in the United States.
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