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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist

April 24, 2012

United States Attorney’s Office to Participate
in National Denim Day

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that his office will be partnering with several agencies within the Northern District of West Virginia and participating in National Denim Day on April 25, 2012, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Members of the staff at the U.S. Attorney’s Office will be encouraged to participate in the event by wearing jeans to work on Wednesday.

The movement to wear denim to raise awareness about sexual assault began in 1999 after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the court found that it was nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who was wearing them, and because of this concluded that the sexual intercourse must have been consensual. The decision provoked outrage in Italy and the day following the Supreme Court’s ruling, female politicians paraded in protest before the Italian parliament, wearing blue jeans and holding placards that read “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape.”

Every year since then, wearing jeans on this anniversary became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual violence and has spread throughout the United States - becoming a full-force national campaign - Denim Day USA. To date, millions of people have participated.

Other agencies participating in National Denim Day in northern West Virginia include the Foundation for Rape and Information Services, HOPE, Inc., the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center (RDVIC), the Shenandoah Women’s Center, the Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Help Center, Women’s Aid in Crisis, and the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program.

For assistance or for further information regarding sexual assault help centers in West Virginia, as well as Nationwide, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

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