Wear your denim as a symbol of protest about the misconceptions of sexual violence.

The History of Denim Day

An 18-year old girl was picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, wrestled her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully raped her. He then threatens her with death if she tells anyone and makes her drive the car home. Later that night the girl tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator was arrested , prosecuted and later convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.

He appeals the sentence and the case made it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor  was overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator was released from jail. 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.”

The women of the Italian Parliament was enraged and  within a matter of hours they launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. Their powerful call to action caused 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.

You can learn more about the case here  by reading The New York Times coverage.

Get Involved

April 26, 2017 is Denim day. Wear your denim as a symbol of protest about the misconceptions of sexual violence.

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