On Wednesday, April 27th millions across the country will wear jeans, not just to make a fashion statement, but to make a social statement. Those that wear denim are standing in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence, making a promise to educate themselves and others on the issue, and are working to challenge the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. This is known as Denim Day.
Denim Day all started with one woman’s story. In 1998 the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim had been wearing tight jeans. The justices felt that since her jeans were so tight, she must have helped the perpetrator remove the jeans, thereby implying consent. The next day, enraged by this verdict, the women of the Italian parliament came to work wearing jeans to stand in solidarity with the survivor. In the 24 years since, a small local protest has turned into a national movement. The Denim Day Campaign urges everyone to expose the harmful behaviors and attitudes surrounding sexual violence and to take a stand against these misconceptions.