Join us and millions of others around the world on Denim Day, Wednesday, April 27th, and wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about all forms of sexual violence!
Be sure to post a selfie with you, your friends, and/or co-workers on social media wearing denim and use the hashtag #DenimDay and tag Middle Way House, @MiddleWayHouse, on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter!
Sexual violence affects individuals of all genders, orientations, ages, races, ethnicities, cultures, classes, faiths, and abilities. Pledge to help prevent and end sexual violence and text DENIM to 44-321 or visit https://secure.givelively.org/donate/middle-way-house-inc/denim-day to donate today!
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, we are here for you on our confidential 24/7 help & crisis line, (812) 336-0846, and confidential help & crisis live chat, https://www.resourceconnect.com/mwh/chat. You are not alone, and you deserve to live a life free of violence.
About Denim Day:
Denim Day is a campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The campaign began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, what started as a local campaign to bring awareness to victim blaming and destructive myths that surround sexual violence has grown into a movement. As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks community members, elected officials, businesses, and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protesting the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.
The Denim Day story begins in Italy in 1992, when an 18-year-old girl was raped by the 45-year-old driving instructor who was taking her to her very first driving lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, removed her jeans and forcefully raped her.
She reports the rape, and the perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted. He is then convicted of rape and sentenced to jail. Years later, he appealed the conviction claiming that they had consensual sex. The Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction, and the perpetrator was released. A statement from the Court argued that because the victim was wearing very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was not rape but consensual sex. This became known throughout Italy as the “jeans alibi.”
Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament launched a protest wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court. This protest was picked up by international media which inspired the California Senate and Assembly to do the same on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento. Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, saw this in the media and thought everyone should be wearing jeans to protest all the myths about why women and girls are raped. Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA event was held in April of 1999 and has continued annually since.
For more information on the case, visit The New York Times’ coverage.