Two groups are asking local employers to allow employees to wear jeans as part of “Jeans for Justice” on April 27.
This will be the third year for the Effingham County Victim Witness Assistance Program to take part in “Jeans for Justice.”
“We always do it during the week of National Crime Victims Rights Week,” director Glenda King said, noting that week runs from April 22-28. “We always choose a Friday because most places if they allow you to wear jeans or denim or alternate clothing, it’s usually on a Friday.”
King said she saw the idea for “Jeans for Justice” from a packet of ideas from the U.S. Department of Justice for victims’ week. King said employees who choose to participate donate $5 to ECVWAP in order to wear jeans to work that Friday.
“I thought that would work well for us because it doesn’t require anyone to meet anywhere or go anywhere or participate in anything other than being comfortable on a particular day of the week,” she said, “and enabling them to make a donation to a local agency that provides services to the community.”
Fifteen groups participated last year and raised approximately $2,000 for victim witness.
King said examples for the use of the money would be to change locks, give a gas card or food voucher and emergency situations where there is not time to get a check signed.
King said she would prefer employers contact victim witness before April 27 so she can give them stickers for the participating employees to wear, “particularly for places that have a dress code or professional dress, and it’s obvious they are not dressed professionally on that day,” she said.
She said there have been groups participate on another day. If the date conflicts with another scheduled event King said it is flexible. The date they have is chosen to bring awareness to crime victims’ rights.
The Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire is also holding a fundraiser using “Jeans for Justice.”
Kelli Arden, a board member for the Rape Crisis Center, said she has participated in “Jeans for Justice” for several years at other locations.
Arden said “Jeans for Justice” sprung from an Italian judge’s comments to a woman who had been raped that she deserved it because her jeans were too tight.
“The next day, all the women judges wore jeans, and it was to protest and say a woman never asks to be raped and it doesn’t matter what she wears it’s never her fault,” Arden said. “Because of that and because of that judge we now do ‘Jeans for Justice’ day every year.”
The Rape Crisis Center of Savannah has an office in the Effingham United Way Service Center.
“They will come to call for Effingham citizens,” Arden said. “They will come up here to take care of them. To be this little office in Savannah they have a lot of volunteers and do a lot of work. It’s just so important to support that.”
Arden said participants donate $5 to $20 to wear jeans. The group has speakers available to talk to groups about preventing sexual assault.
For more information about participating for the Effingham County Victim Witness call Glenda King or Brandie McMahon at 754-7460 or e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about participating for the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire call Arden at 754-5800 or 754-2041 or e-mail at email@example.com.