Sexual Assault Awareness Month, What is it?


David Renteria

Zulema Martinez and Juan Chiguindo wear denim jeans as a show of solidarity to the victims/survivors of sexault assault.

David Renteria , Sports Editor

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact with someone without their consent. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is celebrated in April to raise awareness and recognize that sexual assault is a widespread problem in society, whilst supporting the victims and survivors of sexual assault. There’s a lot of events happening worldwide during Sexual Assault Awareness Month that will propose various sexual assault topics such as coping, debunking myths about sexual assault, and how we can help everyone (not just victims/survivors of sexual assault) be safe by participating in these events.

One way you and others can raise awareness is to conduct research on the subject. There are numerous resources available to the public that discuss sexual assault and can be used to educated yourself and your peers. Please report any suspicious unwanted sexual activity! According to personal research, police aren’t doing enough to prevent sexual assault from happening, and some dont take the majority of people (especially women) seriously. We need to educate people, particularly young people, about sexual assault. If we teach them this, they will understand that it is wrong to make someone uncomfortable and will respect other people’s boundaries.

That’s why South El Monte has declared to have a holiday called “Denim Day,” on April 29th. Anyone can participate by wearing denim jeans, because it means that no one has the right to sexually assault anyone, no matter what they wear. It’s also a way to show solidarity with victims of sexual assault. There is history behind this day. A 45-year old driving instructor was convicted of sexually assaulting his 18-year old student in Italy in 1992. In 1999 the Italian Supreme Court withdrew the instructors conviction, and the instructor was subsequently released after 7 years due to an appeal to the high court, when the instructor argued it was consensual. That’s when women in the Italian Parliament came together, protested near the Supreme Court wearing jeans in solidarity of the 18-year old to bring justice to her.

Support is available for those who have been dealing with PTSD, ambiguity, ego, anger, embarrassment, depression, isolation and everything else that comes with being sexually assaulted. Sexual assault can harm someone emotionally, physically, and mentally, but isn’t impossible to heal. Men, women, and people of other genders can all be victims. It can happen to anyone, at any time. This can happen to any community, awareness and vigilance is essential. Denim Day is to help spread awareness so students can help the people in their community feel safe and secure.