What is Denim Day?


Katie Webber, Staff Writer

Denim Day is recognized on the 28th of April every year to support survivors and educate others on all forms of sexual assault. This movement began in Italy, 1992. The case involved of an 18-year old girl being sexually assaulted by her 45-year old driving instructor. Despite being threatened by her perpetrator, the strong 18-year old girl decided to tell her parents and report the rape. After the trial in 1992, the perpetrator was convinced and proceed to be sentenced to prison. Years later in 1999, now 52, the man appealed the conviction on the account that her jeans were too tight so she had to help him remove them; implying consent.  This ‘jeans alibi’ was taken to court and his conviction was inevitably overturned by the Italian Supreme Court. The judges continued to make cases saying “a woman cannot be raped if she is wearing jeans. It must be consensual” and “they are impossible to remove unless she helps”

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. ”

— Statement made by the Chief Judge on the case

This caused outrage within Italy, specifically in women. Tired of being pushed away and having their voices silenced, the women of parliament decided to take a stand. The women organized that they would wear jeans and sit on the steps of the Supreme Court to bring attention to this historic sexual assault case. This protest was picked up by a world wide news source and women in California were inspired to participate and do the same. Since 1999, Peace Over Violence, a non profit organization, has encouraged people to take a stand against sexual assault.

By wearing some form of denim on the observed Denim Day, you are standing up for sexual assault victims and protesting against the misconceptions of sexual assault.