Once per year college students across the nation wear jeans with a purpose- to educate others about sexual assault and support its survivors.
By Aliyah Allen, Staff Writer
On April 26, Wednesday, Peace over Violence will run its eighteenth Denim Day campaign in honor of the victims of sexual violence.
The campaign stems from a ruling in a rape case in 1999 by the Italian Supreme Court, according to the Los Angeles Times, in which justices felt that because the victim’s jeans were tight she must have helped the rapist remove them, thereby consenting to the assault.
The following day, women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim while holding signs that stated, “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape.” Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit organization, led by Patti Giggans, developed the Denim Day campaign as an ongoing international response to this unfairness and to promote activism against it. Peace Over Violence organized the country’s first Denim Day event in 1999.
Denim Day has turned into a national movement. According to the University of Wisconsin , “More than 2 million Americans participated in Denim Day. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood.”
On Denim Day students, teachers and faculty are asked to wear their jeans in protest against the silence that accompanies sexual abuse and to prevent the shaming of the victims by considering them to be accomplices in the crimes that were committed against them.
For more information and to find events and actions for this April’s Denim Day go to denimdayinfo.org.