Millions of people across the world wear jeans with a purpose today! Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about victim blaming and sexual assault. This year we're asking you to share a picture of yourself in jeans and to tag us in a photo or direct message us on Instagram. You may also email your photo to Susan at the address below. We will then create a collage of photos to post on our social media as a way of supporting survivors and uniting in a small way against sexual violence.
Our handle is Advocacy@ssu. If you don't follow us, please start!
The History of Denim Day
The Denim Day story begins in Italy in 1992, when an 18-year old girl was raped by the 45-year old driving instructor who was taking her to her very first driving lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, removed her jeans and forcefully raped her.
She reports the rape and the perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted. He is then convicted of rape and sentenced to jail. Years later, he appealed the conviction claiming that they had consensual sex. The Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction and the perpetrator was released. A statement from the Court argued that because the victim was wearing very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was not rape but consensual sex. This became known throughout Italy as the “jeans alibi.”
Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament launched a protest wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court. This protest was picked up by international media which inspired the California Senate and Assembly to do the same on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento.