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Coastal Empire community encouraged to participate in annual movement and raise funds this Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

SAVANNAH, GA – February 27, 2023 – In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Mary’s Place Advocacy Prevention and Sexual Assault Center (formerly Rape Crisis Center) is calling on the local community to take action and spread awareness by participating in the annual Jeans for Justice movement this April. Area-wide businesses and organizations are encouraged to designate a day in April when employees and staff are encouraged to wear jeans to work in exchange for a donation to the organization.  

“Sexual violence can be a sensitive subject matter, and we want survivors in our community to know that they are supported in every way,” said Doris L. Williams, Executive Director of Mary’s Place. “Jeans for Justice makes a social statement — rape has nothing to do with what you wear, and it’s time to take a stand against the stigmas that still prevail in our society and our community.” 

During the awareness month, businesses are asked to designate a day where employees will have the opportunity to don their best denim to make a statement for a donation fee of between $5-$20 per person, to be collected by a designated staff member.  Details about Jeans for Justice and donation of the funds raised by this initiative are available from Crystal Gordon Undie, Assistant to the Executive Director, 

The Jeans for Justice movement dates to February 1999, when a judge in Italy overturned the 1998 rape conviction of a 45-year-old driving instructor named Carmine Cristiano for raping an 18-year-old student. The judge ruled that the victim consented to sex because she was wearing a pair of jeans, which were deemed “too tight” and impossible to take off “without the cooperation of the person wearing them.” The court also questioned why the victim, identified only as Rosa, waited several hours to tell her parents she’d been attacked. 

A group of women lawmakers wore jeans to Parliament the day following the ruling and displayed a sign that read “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape.” Protesting lawmakers asked women all over Italy to join a “skirt strike” and wear jeans. Since then, the movement has gone global. 

Mary’s Place is asking the local community to participate this April to ensure that survivors know that such crimes will not be tolerated and affirm the support of the public. All funds from Jeans for Justice will go toward the operation of Mary’s Place and their mission to provide resources and advocacy to victims of rape and sexual assault, and prevention education to youth and adults.  Mary’s Place has helped thousands of survivors and implemented extensive education and prevention programs across the Coastal Empire since it was founded as The Rape Crisis Center over 45 years ago, but sadly the demand for services continues to grow.  

Mary’s Place is committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault in the Coastal Empire and to implementing vital prevention and educational programs across the region. For more information, please visit, call 912-233-3000, email or visit them on social media. 


For media inquiries, please contact Allie Robinson at or 912-547-3100 or Lesley Francis at or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).