Wear Your Denim in April
Supporters of sexual assault victims from around the world wear denim on the last Wednesday of April to start a conversation about “consent” and archaic rape laws.
Denim Day began in 1999, following an Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a previous rape conviction. In his appeal, the 45-year-old perpetrator claimed that his 18-year-old victim was wearing tight jeans that could have only been taken off with her help, which meant she had “consensual” sex with him. The justices agreed, overturned his conviction, and released him from prison.
On the next day, Italian women showed up in jeans at their workplaces as way to protest the absurdity of the overturned sentence. The court’s decision sparked international outrage and resulted in the group Peace over Violence to declare the last Wednesday in April as International Denim Day. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
For the 18-year-old victim, that day in 1998 when she was picked up by her 45-year-old driving instructor started off as a normal day. She had no way of knowing that her teacher would end up brutally attacking her. Before he dropped her off at home, he threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Fortunately, she found the strength to tell her parents later that day. Soon the rapist was arrested and prosecuted. Yet, a year later, his conviction was overturned because the court agreed with his claim that the victim’s tight jeans couldn’t have been taken off without her help.
We invite you to wear denim on Denim Day to show support for victims and survivors and to advocate for stronger legal protections for sexual assault victims.
Ways you can help
- Plan a Denim Day event with your friends or at your workplace and post pictures on social media with the hashtags #DenimDay and #DenimDayLivCo
- Make a collective or individual donation to LACASA’s Sexual Assault Response Center, which provides all services and programs for sexual assault victims, their families, and their friends at no charge. The setting is private. All services are strictly confidential. Insurance is never involved.
Visit our Giving Page to make a donation >>