Posted Monday, April 18th, 2016

Morris CARES will mark Denim Day on Sunday with a free community event from 12- 4 p.m. at the VFW in Morris Plains.

The Morris County Board of Freeholders have joined an international campaign to raise awareness and educate the public about the intolerable violent crime of sexual assault by declaring this Sunday, April 24, 2016, as “Denim Day’’ in Morris County.


(l/r) Freeholder John Cesaro, Thomas Zelante, Dorothy DiFabio, Emily Elias, and Freeholders Hank Lyon, Christine Myers, Doug Cabana ad Deborah Smith


The freeholders presented a formal proclamation for Denim Day to Emily Elias, community and education outreach coordinator for Morris CARES, a sexual assault center based at Morristown Medical Center.

She was joined by First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante and Dorothy DiFabio, Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, in accepting the resolution at the most recent freeholders’ meeting on April 13 in Morristown.


“The Freeholders want to help call attention to a serious problem in our society – one that can affect any person or any family at any time, and especially targets women: that is, sexual abuse,’’ said Deputy Morris County Freeholder Director Hank Lyon.

The Denim Day campaign originated as a result of an Italian Supreme Court decision in 1999 that overturned a rape conviction because the female victim wore jeans. The Italian court reasoned that because the jeans were “tight,” the victim must have helped her attacker remove them, and that demonstrated consent.

Wearing jeans has since become an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault that place the blame on the victim and ignores the coercion, threats and violence that accompany sexual assault.

“Morris Cares, the Sexual Assault Center for Morris County deals directly with residents who are the unfortunate victims of brutal sexual violence, and provides victims of sexual assault, as well as their loved ones, with specialized care in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment; and provides primary prevention education to heighten awareness on issues of sexual violence and gender stereotype,’’ the freeholders stated in their proclamation.

The proclamation “calls attention to, and helps dispel the myths that still surround sexual assault, and to recognize the diligence of the many dedicated individuals, groups and agencies in the community who are working tirelessly to support sexual assault victims and their families and to prevent sexual violence.’’

According to the federal government:

  • Every two minutes in America someone is sexually assaulted.
  • Females 16 to 24 are four times more likely to be sexual assault victims than other age groups.
  • Persons under 18 years of age account for 67 percent of all sexual assaults reported to police, with children under 12 accounting for 34 percent and children under 6 accounting for 14 percent.
  • The majority of rapes, some 54 percent, will not be reported.
  • Only 1 of 4 reported rapes results in an arrest and only 1 in 4 arrests leads to a conviction.

Morris CARES will mark New Jersey’s Seventh Annual Denim Day on Sunday with a free community event from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the VFW Hall on Route 53 in Morris Plains. The theme of this year’s free event, “Mind, Body & Spirit”, will include yoga and self-defense demonstrations, self-care initiatives, and booths providing educational resources. Also, survivors of sexual assault will share their stories.

For more information on Denim Day visit:

For more information on sexual violence in our state and nation, please visit the following:

To contact Morris CARES call 973- 971-4754 or email Emily Elias at [email protected]