Wednesday, April 29 marks the official Denim Day for 2015. This, of course, means that all across the United States people will be donning their Canadian tuxedos, homemade jorts and chambray shirts in support of a great cause.
For Georgetown, the Hoya Health Hut, Georgetown University Sexual Assault Peer Educators – SAPE, and the Women’s Center are hosting their own Denim Day on campus this Friday, April 10.
For those of you who are may be confused, Denim Day is an opportunity to wear your favorite jeans in support of sexual assault survivors while educating yourself and others. The campaign is run by Peace Over Violence and the official Denim Day has taken place on a Wednesday in April for the past 16 years in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was initially launched over a ruling from the Italian Supreme Court during the 1990’s in which a rape case was overturned. The justices believed that the victim had been wearing such tight jeans that they could not have been removed by the rapist alone. This assumption, which became known as the “denim defense”, implied that the girl issued her consent by helping to remove the jeans.
After the ruling was announced, women in the Italian Parliament arrived at work wearing jeans to represent their solidarity with the victim. Media outlets were quick to cover the story, and the movement spread all the way to the California Senate and Assembly. The executive director of Peace Over Violence, Patricia Griggins, soon learned of the call to action and launched the first Denim Day in April 1999 in Los Angeles.
Today, wearing jeans on Denim Day is symbolic of the unwillingness to tolerate victim blaming. The campaign aims to inform and educate individuals on the misconceptions related to sexual assault cases by changing the attitude towards women’s clothing. The official website for Denim Day 2015 states that “there is no reason and never an invitation to rape”.
Wearing jeans on April 29 is a visible way to demonstrate that you do not believe that sexual assault can be justified based on the victim’s choice of clothing. At Georgetown this week, there will be a variety of events leading up to the main event on Friday. So go ahead, check out the events, sport your jorts for a great cause and don’t forget to RSVP to Georgetown’s official Denim Day Facebook event!
For more information on Denim Day 2015 and for resources on sexual assault and violence, please visit www.denimdayinfo.org.
Photos/Gif: tumblr.com; eadthehorn.com