Did you wear jeans today? Did you wear them to support Denim Day?
If so, do you know the history behind Denim Day?
The idea began in 1997 when an 18-year-old girl was raped in Rome. Although her rapist threatened to kill her if she told anyone, she confided in her parents and they agreed to help their daughter press charges. Although her rapist was convicted and sentenced, the Italian Supreme Court overturned the decision. Why? Because the victim of the rape wore tight jeans. Even though the victim was raped and did not consent, they claimed she must have helped the rapist remove the tight jeans, and the act was therefore consensual.
The first Denim Day happened in 2008 when the news of the court’s decision spread. Women of the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans and holding signs that read, “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape.” To show support, the California Senate and Assembly did the same.
Executive Director of the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, Patricia Giggans, decided to make Denim Day an annual event. Now, every year, people worldwide show off their jeans on Denim Day to show their support. Denim Day raises awareness of rape prevention and helps to destroy negative attitudes about rape.
A victim should never be blamed for being raped. It should only be the fault of the rapist, despite the clothing a victim is wearing, or the actions they take. Rape is when the consent of the victim is not given. If a victim is under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, then the victim is unable to consent.
If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual assault or rape, do not be afraid to get help. For resources, check out these sites:
Stay safe, and wear your denim proudly!