New Directions in DENIM 5: Denim Day
Welcome to Day 5 of New Directions in Denim on DDOA. Today we look into DENIM DAY. Is it a day to make a fashion statement? Is it a day for women to to burn their denims and go back to more Puritan styles and ways?
No…Denim Day is a rape prevention education campaign. Please read the rest of the story below to learn more about how denim has become a protest medium…
Let’s Learn More About DENIM DAY:
In Italy in the 1990s…
An 18-year old girl is picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her. Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home. Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator gets arrested and is prosecuted. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.
He appeals the sentence. The case makes it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “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.”
Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since.Info from denimdayusa.org
Denim Day takes over Schools
WHY DENIM DAY USA?
- Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
- One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
- According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there were 1,117 rapes during the year 2003, with only 260 rape suspects arrested.
- 82.8% of rapes committed by an intimate are not reported to the police.
- 35% of college men who voluntarily participated in psychological research conducted at several universities indicated they might commit a rape if they knew they could get away with it.
- Two million children around the world are forced into prostitution every year.
- Law enforcement arrests for internet sex crimes against minors are on the rise.
- 15,000 to 19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year in North America.
- Survivors deserve support and assistance, not shame and blame.
- We want to build healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence.
Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence,
& Denim Day in LA
At Denim Day Press Conference
Denim Day USA shirts, pins, posters and more are available in the months leading up to Denim Day. Denim Day in LA & USA is April 23, 2014. Downloadable posters and educational material are available year-round.