Denim Day began in 1992, after an 18-year-old woman was raped in Italy during her driving lesson. Her driving instructor took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, removed her jeans and had raped her. The case went to court and the conviction was overturned, releasing the perpetrator. The Italian Supreme Court, who then released a statement that argued that because the victim’s jeans were very tight, she would have had to help him remove them, therefore, making it consensual sex and not rape. Furious by the decision, women in the Parliament protested by wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court. This protest inspired many others and resulted in the first ever Denim Day movement in April of 1999. Now an annual event, we hope to use our denim as a meaning of protest against the myths surrounding sexual assault!
The Women’s Center will be having Denim Day as a social media campaign that raises awareness of sexual assault and the dangers of victim-blaming. During the social media campaign, we will be using the hashtag #UMKCDenimDay20. We encourage those at home to wear denim on Wednesday, April 29th and decorate an image of denim to support the Denim Day Movement. For more information about Denim Day visit: https://www.denimdayinfo.org/why-denim.