U.S. Army in Japan Supports Denim Day
Recently every time you pick up a newspaper or look at news stories on social media the term “sexual abuse” is frequently used. In fact, a recent study concluded that nearly 30 percent of women serving in the Marine Corps suffered unwanted sexual contact by another military member. Close behind were the Army and Navy.
According to the Department of Defense, “The military services received a total of 3,192 reports of sexual assault during fiscal 2011. Of the 3,192 reports of sexual assault, 2,439 were unrestricted reports and 753 were restricted reports. This represents a one percent increase since fiscal 2010.
On April 24th American Soldiers, civilians and Japanese citizens joined together in recognition of Denim Day. Denim Day is in reference to a rape incident that occurred in Italy in 1999. The man was acquitted of rape because the court found that the women removed her jeans, thereby constituting consensual sex. The Chief Judge, argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” Denim day is designed for individuals around the world as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
Sgt. 1st. Class, Tamara N. Todman, 10th Regional Support Group, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator explained, “when the results of the case were publicized it became an epidemic across the world regarding sexual abuse. The program is designed to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. Making sure it is eliminated throughout our ranks, making sure Soldiers are aware of the reporting procedures, including who the victim advocates are and feel comfortable coming forward when an incident occurs.”
Todman went onto explain about the participation during the day, “today we had a outpouring of support throughout Okinawa. I distributed 400 stickers and we received support from the 10th Regional Support Group, 247th Military Police Detachment and the 78th Signal Battalion.”
Two years ago, DoD launched a Safe Helpline as a crisis support service for victims of sexual assault. The helpline is available 24 hours a day via web, phone, or text message. The helpline can be reached at 877-995-5247 or http://www.safehelpline.org .
Locally you can obtain information via the 10th Regional Support Group web site at; http://www.usarj.army.mil/organization/10asg/