Press Release
For Immediate Release: May 21, 2013
Contact: Anne Gordon, (916) 491-3821
Email: anne.gordon@vcgcb.ca.gov

Partnership Nets Thousands of Donations for Victims of Violence

Nearly 2,000 clothing items collected to benefit victims and fund assistance services

1,916 jeans donated at the denim drive

Sacramento, CA—The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) announced the collection of 1,916 pieces of clothing during last month's Denim Drive, nearly tripling the 700 items collected last year. This year, the Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) partnered with 20 local agencies and four businesses to collect denim items to directly benefit victims of sexual assault, abuse and domestic violence. A portion of the collected items will be sold at WEAVE Thrift to raise funding for victim assistance services such as counseling and job training.

“I am thrilled at the generosity of the community,” said Julie Nauman, executive officer of the Victim Compensation Program. “Donations almost tripled from last year, which will provide hundreds more victims with clothing and other services necessary in building healthy and whole lives for themselves.” Donations will be shared between three northern California nonprofits: WEAVE, Yolo Co Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center, and La Casa de las Madres in San Francisco.

The annual drive is inspired by Denim Day, an observance that started 14 years ago to protest an Italian court's decision overturning a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. In 19997, 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.” Enraged by the verdict the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, and Denim Day has been recognized in CA since 1999.

Here's the roster of this year's Denim Drive government- and private-sector sponsors:

State and local government:

Sacramento businesses:

“Even though the official drive ended in April, people continue to call and stop by our office with more denim donations,” said Nauman. “We will make sure every donation gets into the right hands and provides assistance and support.”

CalVCP received more than 53,000 applications and provided more than $70 million in compensation to crime victims last fiscal year. Through the program, victims can be reimbursed for crime-related expenses including costs associated with funeral services, medical bills, mental health treatment, and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from federal grants and criminal restitution fines and not taxpayer dollars.

For additional information about CalVCP and resources, visit the CalVCP website at CalVCP.ca.gov.

The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, and vehicular manslaughter.

If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and matching federal funds.