To the Editor of IDS:
Denim Day originated in Italy after an 18-year-old woman was raped by her driving instructor in 1992. She pressed charges, and though the alleged rapist was convicted, the Italian Supreme Court overturned the decision in 1998. They argued because the victim wore tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove them, making the act consensual. Women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans in protest the following day. The California Senate backed the protest, and Denim Day was born. In 2008 the Italian Supreme Court finally overturned its findings and eliminated the “denim defense” to rape charges.
Today Denim Day has become an annual, international event to spread awareness not only about sexual assault but perhaps more importantly about the need to stop victim blaming on all levels. Rape is rape when there is no consent.
We, the staff and volunteers of Middle Way House, work hard to serve survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence every day. Join us and take a stand for justice by wearing your favorite pair of jeans April 29.
Thank you for your consideration,