Denim Day, the centerpiece of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, has a new supporter in Long Beach.

Last week, the Long Beach Hospitality Alliance announced it would participate in Denim Day on April 24. The Alliance will encourage employees, guests and the Long Beach community in general to wear jeans on that day.

The display is to show support for survivors, and to educate about all forms of sexual violence.

The day came about after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction, saying the victim must have consented since she was wearing tight denim jeans.

The Hospitality Alliance is made up of hotels, motels and restaurants in Long Beach. Last November, voters approved a law requiring hotels to provide workers — particularly those cleaning rooms — with "panic buttons" to be used in case of attack or abuse. The alliance and member hotels have provided safety training and multiple other types of training.

"Wearing jeans on Denim Day is a poignant symbol against destructive attitudes about sexual harassment, abuse, assault and rape and a way to support those who have been affected directly by these terrible acts," alliance Chair Pam Ryan said in a statement.

For more about Denim Day, go to www.denimdayinfo.org.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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