Encourages Local Business to Participate

HAZLET, NJ - Wearing jeans to work is a not the norm in many places of business. However, on April 28th, 180 Turning Lives Around encourages everyone to participate in the internationally recognized “Denim Day.”

Wearing jeans became an international symbol for the rights of all sexual assault victims in 1998, after an Italian Supreme Court decision overturned a rape conviction. The case involved a young woman who was attacked by her driving instructor. The victim wore tight- fitting jeans and the judge ruled that the victim must have consented to sex even thought she was forced to help her attacker remove her jeans. People all over the world were outraged. Wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.

Here in Monmouth County, 180 Turning Lives Around, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence, provides 24-hour hotlines, emergency housing, family court assistance and trained advocates who accompany survivors at police stations, hospitals and family court.

At 180, the Men’s Task Force, lead by Ray Eckhoff, spearheads this annual campaign, calling upon its members’ partners in the business community to participate in Denim Day.

“Denim Day is an outward example of how a community can help change people's perceptions about violence against women, men and children,” said Eckhoff. “The Men’s Task Force stands in support of survivors and encourage others to do so as well.”

“Last year, our corporate friend, New Jersey Natural Gas, allowed employees who contributed $5 to wear jeans to work on that day,” said Connie Heath, 180’s Director of Development. ”Thanks to their generosity, more than $1000 was raised for 180’s vital services to survivors of sexual assault.”

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