By Bethany Reyna
In 1992 an 18-year-old girl in Italy was raped by her driving instructor. She pressed charges and won the case. Her case was later overturned at the High Italian Court and the charges were dropped because a High Court member believed that the jeans the girl was wearing were “too tight” for the rapist to have removed them without her willing assistance. To protest the court’s decision, the women of the Italian Legislator wore jeans to work.
In 1999 Peace Over Violence, a social organization based in California, established Denim Day. On April 27th people wear denim as a visible sign of protest against sexual assault. Here at UMKC we recognize Denim Day on April 28th with all universities, junior/high schools, businesses, and individuals. UMKC’s Violence Prevention and Response Project will have displays around campus of jeans that have been decorated to represent women standing up to misconceptions about sexual assault. There will be three displays on campus; one in Johnson Residence Hall, Oak Residence Hall, and in the Student Union.
By wearing denim on April 28th you can visually represent the need for sexual assault awareness by sharing with others of why you are wearing denim on that day. Check out the displays around campus and don’t forget to break out your favorite pair of jeans on Thursday, April 28th!