Denim Day

On April 23 in the early 1990s, a young 18 year-old girl is picked up by her 45 year-old driving instructor for her first driving lesson. During the driving lesson, he takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car and wrestles her out of her jeans and rapes her. He then proceeded to threaten her life if she told anyone and has her drive the car home. Later that night, she tells her parents anyway and they seek to press charges against the driving instructor. During the course of the trail, he is duly convicted and sentenced to jail for rape. While in jail, he proceeds to appeal his sentence and his case ends up in the Italian Supreme Court. Days later, the case against the instructor is overturned, the case is dismissed and he is released.

How does something like that happen? In a statement released by the Chief Judge, he argued that, “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 outrage this verdict sparked caused the women in the Italian Parliament to immediately launch into action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This act of solidarity with the survivor has caused “Denim Day” to spring up all over the world with the first Denim Day in the US coming to be in April 1999 and has continued every year since.

If you would like to participate, make sure to wear jeans on April 23! This Wednesday, you can get in touch with any sexual assault organizations around your area and locate buttons and ribbons to wear or make your own to let people know you're wearing jeans as a way to show support and solidarity for survivors.