- Cassandra Kester
- (951) 371-6860
(SACRAMENTO) – Today, on behalf of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) introduced HR 14 to designate the month of April 2023 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and recognize Wednesday, April 26, 2023, as Denim Day in California.
“An outfit never provides consent. Ever,” said Assemblymember Cervantes. “For several years, I have dedicated myself to ensuring that we have trauma-informed policies for survivors of sexual assault and my commitment continues to be unwavering. We must continue our work to eliminate harmful policies that enable violence, silence survivors, and reduce access to justice for survivors.”
Every April, Denim Day is observed in California and around the world in remembrance of a controversial 1998 Italian Supreme Court ruling. The Court reviewed a criminal rape case and ruled that the survivor consented to a sexual encounter with the perpetrator simply because she wore tight jeans. The decision sparked outrage and protests around the world. The Italian Supreme Court overturned this ruling in 2008.
In 2021, the State Legislature passed and Governor Gavin Newsom enacted AB 939, The Denim Day Act of 2021, by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes. The Denim Day Act of 2021 fulfills the promise of Denim Day by removing an existing provision of law that allows the manner in which a survivor was dressed to be admitted as evidence of consent in a criminal case involving sexual assault and thus makes it clear that clothes can never provide consent.
Assemblymember Cervantes’s Floor speech can be viewed here. You can also find more information about HR 14 here.
Sabrina Cervantes is a wife and mother of triplets who proudly represents the 58th District of the California State Assembly, which encompasses the Inland Empire cities of Grand Terrace and Jurupa Valley; portions of the cities of Corona, Eastvale, and Riverside; and the unincorporated communities of Coronita, El Cerrito, Highgrove, and Home Gardens. Cervantes also serves as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.