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This article was archived on 5/31/2021

City Councilors Support Sexual Assault Awareness Month

City Councilors wore jeans on April 28 in support of Denim Day, a campaign in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month that began in response to a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court in 1992. A rape conviction was overturned because the judges felt that, since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the assailant take them off, thereby implying consent.

The following day, the women in Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Denim Day asks elected officials, community members, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the myths and misconceptions that surround sexual violence.

In a typical year, Tulsa Police receive about 550 rape reports. That's about 1.5 per day. Studies from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) show that only about 25% of cases are reported to police.

Tulsa Police want all victims to know:
• Victims of rape and sexual assault are entitled to receive a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE) at no cost to the survivor.
• Sexual assault exams can be conducted up to 120 hours (5 days) after the assault.
• Sexual assault exams are conducted at Hillcrest Hospital, located at 1120 South Utica Avenue.
• You do not have to file a police report to receive a sexual assault exam. You do not have to file a police report to receive a protective order against your assailant.
• In addition to evidence collection, a survivor will receive preventative health care and will be examined for any additional injuries that may need treatment.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, please call 911 and an officer will assist you. If you are a victim of sexual assault and do not want to report to the police, but still want to receive a SANE exam, please call 918-743-5763 and an advocate will assist you, or you can go directly Hillcrest Hospital and tell staff that you wish to receive a non-report sexual assault exam. A survivor who does not wish to make a police report at the time of occurrence is still entitled to receive a free forensic exam, preventative health care, and preservation of forensic evidence. For non-report exams, the SANE kit will be safely stored by number only until such time as the victim is ready to come forward and make a report.

If you have any questions, you can reach the Tulsa Police Special Victims Unit at 918-596-9168 or at specialvictimsunit@cityoftulsa.org.

Other Resources
Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) has trained sexual assault advocates available 24/7 to assist survivors. Call (918) 743-5763 to speak with an advocate. DVIS also offers free counseling to sexual assault survivors, as well as resources for safe shelter and assistance with protective orders.
• The Family Safety Center is in the same building as the Special Victims Unit and can assist with SANE exams, protective orders, and other resources. They can be reached at (918) 742-7480.