Middle School Students Bring Awareness to Sexual Violence in Denim Day - NBC Southern California

Middle School Students Bring Awareness to Sexual Violence in Denim Day

An L.A. middle school marks Denim Day in L.A.

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    Dulce Perez, 13, says her role in Denim Day inspired her to promote awareness of sexual violence. The day-long campaign, named after the 1998 Italian Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans, was celebrated across Los Angeles – including Perez’s Young Kim Oak Middle School. Michelle Valles reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on April 25, 2012. (Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012)

    The dating violence that played out on stage at young Kim Oak Middle School on Wednesday isn’t real. But the problem is.

    The play, Denim Day, was one of many events going on during LA's denim day, which is held every year to raise awareness of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It’s named after the 1998 Italian Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans.

    The play at Young Kim Oak Middle School helps bring awareness of sexual violence not just to students, but people of power and responsibility.

    "We’re all part of institutions," said Patti Giggans, executive director of Peace Over Violence. "Whether the institution is the family. We’re a parent, we’re a mother, we’re a university president, or a coach. Everyone has to pay attention to this epidemic of sexual violence."

    Dulce Perez, 13, said the character she played hit close to home.

    "She has these internal conflicts with herself: well I love him, but he’s hurting me," she said. “Her friends are, like, Emily get out of this, it’s horrible, it’s bad for you, but she’s, like, I'm just going to keep on going and go through this by myself which is a bad thing to do."

    Still fresh on Dulce’s mind is Cindi Santana, the 17 year old who was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in October 2011 at Southeast High School.

    That’s the school Dulce will most likely attend.

    "It made me more aware that these things happen in the world and I want to change this," said Perez.

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