A little about what it is,
why it’s important
and how YOU can get involved…
WHAT IS DENIM DAY?
Did you know that Denim Day is the longest-running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history? Founded by Peace Over Violence, an organization based out of Los Angeles, California, Denim Day has become a national movement that has taken place on the last Wednesday of April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) since 1999. Community members, elected officials, businesses and students are asked to make a social statement with their apparel by wearing denim in any form as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.
“The Denim Day story begins in Italy in 1992, when an 18-year old girl was raped by a 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. Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, saw this in the media and thought everyone should be wearing jeans to protest all of the myths about why women and girls are raped. Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA event was held in April of 1999, and has continued annually since.”
- Italy, 1990’s. Denimdayinfo.org
WHY IS DENIM DAY IMPORTANT?
- FACT: 1 out of every 6 American women are victims of completed or attempted rape in her lifetime.
- FACT: The majority of sexual assault victims are under the age of 30 with women ages 12-34 at the highest risk for rape and sexual assault.
- FACT: Every 73 seconds, an American citizen is sexually assaulted with a 90% chance (9 out of 10 odds) that they are a woman.
On average, there are 433,648 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States alone. It is suspected that most victims of sexual assault refuse to report their abuse. Denim Day is a means to show ALL victims that they are supported.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Any form of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim is a crime. Let’s stand up to this horrific abuse, together.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Wear denim (in any form) on Wednesday, April 29 2020 to show those around you that you care; that you acknowledge ALL who have been impacted by sexual violence. SHOP NOW.
Share resources on your social media! Someone in need could see what you post online…
by sharing a number to a hotline or local authority you may save someone a lot of grief and even their life!
- RAINN. The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), organizes the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. The Hotline is a referral service that can put you in contact with your local rape crisis center. You can call the Hotline at 1-800-656-4673, or access RAINN’s online chat service.
- NSVRC. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center maintains a Directory of State and Territory Coalitions, as well as a Directory of Victim/Survivor Support Organizations that provide services to survivors. Please contact your state or territory’s coalition to find local resources.
- The Women’s Center of Jacksonville provides immediate resources for women in FL. There is a 24-hr Rape Crisis Hotline (904)721-7273.
Support non-profit organizations that devote their time and resources to helping survivors of sexual assault and beyond.
- Support Denim Day with a donation
- Want to help a survivor of sexual assault in Northeast Florida? Donate today to Jacksonville’s Center for Women
ENTER OUR CONTEST
1. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2018 (2019). Note: RAINN applies a 5-year rolling average to adjust for changes in the year-to-year NCVS survey data.
2. National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1998). (Statistic presents information on the total number of male and female victims in the United States, using a study from 1998. Because the U.S. population has increased substantially since then, it is probable that the number of victims has, as well. RAINN presents this data for educational purposes only, and strongly recommends using the citations to review any and all sources for more information and detail.)
3. i. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (2013); ii. National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1998). (This statistic presents information on the total number of male and female victims in the United States, using a study from 1998. Because the U.S. population has increased substantially since then, it is probable that the number of victims has as well. RAINN presents this data for educational purposes only, and strongly recommends using the citations to review any and all sources for more information and detail.)
4. Peace Over Violence quotes and factual information collected via DenimDayInfo.org. Website. Retrieved April 21, 2020.