News Releases

April 27, 2022: District Attorney Gascón Announces Measures to Address Sexual Assault Cases on Denim Day

Tatevik Tigranyan
(213) 257-2000

In recognition of Denim Day, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today a new working group will be formed that will provide the office’s Bureau of Victim Services with guidance on how to better serve victims and survivors of sexual assault. “My office will continue to aggressively prosecute sexual assault cases as we work to make our community safer and healthier,” District Attorney Gascón said. “We must make sure survivors of sexual assault have access to trauma-informed support and services for healing.”

The group, comprised of experts and advocates, will examine best patterns and practices from around the country and also will explore what additional efforts can be made in dealing with sexual assault cases.

District Attorney Gascón noted that the office’s charge rate for rape and sexual assault has increased since he took office. In 2019, the charge rate for sexual assault was 68 percent; in 2021 it was 77 percent. In 2020, the rate for rape cases was 28 percent; last year it was 32 percent.

Additionally, a recent Prosecutors Alliance Center for Survivor Policy report found that crime survivors need more support for a significant duration after a crime and they want advocates who have trauma-informed training or who also are survivors. District Attorney Gascón is working to advance public safety by prioritizing healing, addressing trauma and preventing victimization in the future. Last week, he announced the hiring of Tanishia G. Wright, the new Director of the office’s Bureau of Victim Services, who will greatly expand the services provided by the office, providing trauma-informed care to all those who need and want it.

District Attorney Gascón also worked with the Board of Supervisors to increase the number of victim services representatives in the office. The office has a staff of 78 victim services representatives and also are in the process of hiring more victim services representatives countywide, thereby, increasing access to services for more people. The office is learning organization and remains open to new ideas. That is why District Attorney Gascón created the office’s first Crime Victims Advisory Board, which has direct access to his administrators so they may share their concerns and provide input on improving services.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and today is annual Denim Day in Los Angeles. Denim Day is a sexual assault prevention, education and awareness campaign. It originated in 1998 and was observed in Los Angeles the following year in response to an Italian Supreme Court decision which overturned a rape conviction.

The goal of Denim Day is to encourage people to break the silence that surrounds all forms of sexual violence and to get thousands of people wearing jeans across the city, county and country to raise awareness of the devastating impact of sexual violence.