In 1992; in Italy; an 18 year old girl was picked up by her 45 year old driving instructor a lesson. He drives to another location and rapes her. To do so he pulled down on leg of her jeans. He threatened to kill her if she disclosed what had happened to anyone.
The girl tells her parents and she presses charges. The rapist goes to jail.
Unfortunately he appeals the sentence and wins his case. 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.”
Women in the Italian Parliament took action and protested by wearing jeans to work. The California Senate and Assembly decided to do this as well. Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, assisted in creating Denim Day in Los Angeles. The first Denim Day in LA took place in April 1999.
Denim Day is about making a public statement; that rape is never okay. You can participate in the day by wearing denim with a Denim Day pin or t-shirt. Or, you can simply speak about the event of the young woman's rape and encourage others to educate themselves about the patriarchal system.
To learn more about Denim Day visit the official website, here.
Here are some informative statistics from the Denim Day website:
Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there were 1,117 rapes during the year 2003, with only 260 rape suspects arrested.
82.8% of rapes committed by an intimate are not reported to the police.
35% of college men who voluntarily participated in psychological research conducted at several universities indicated they might commit a rape if they knew they could get away with it.
Two million children around the world are forced into prostitution every year.
Law enforcement arrests for internet sex crimes against minors are on the rise.
15,000 to 19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year in North America.
Survivors deserve support and assistance, not shame and blame.
We want to build healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence.
Help spread the word against patriarchy. Rape is NEVER okay, under any circumstances.
Los Angeles Rape & Battering Hotlines
The Los Angeles Rape and Battering hotline is a confidential non-judgmental support service where staff and volunteers are available to provide emotional support, advocacy, information and referrals. If you or someone you care about has been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking, please call our 24 hour crisis line.
213-626-3393 (Central Los Angeles)
310-392-8381 (South Los Angeles)
626-793-3385 (West San Gabriel Valley)
National Emergency Hotlines
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: