Denim Day is fast approaching. Do you know why Denim Day is important?
Denim Day was started in 1999 after Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, saw on the news a protest over a case in Italy where a rape conviction was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court. Which ruled the sex in this case had to have been consensual because the victim wore tight jeans. The Italian Supreme Court surmised the victim would have had to have helped take her tight jeans off, therefore, the sexual encounter would have had to have been consensual. As a response to the ruling, women in the Italian Parliament staged a protest on the steps of the Supreme Court wearing jeans. This protest was aired in the news internationally where Patti Giggans saw it and was inspired to start the first ever Denim Day protest to bring light to all the myths surrounding why women and girls are raped.
Denim Day is important because there are still many myths that surround victims of sexual assault that need to be addressed and dispelled. The only way to end rape culture is to end these myths which suggest it is somehow the victims fault. This is an important conversation that needs to be had.
No one asks to be raped or sexually assaulted. What the victim wears or how they look has no bearing on why they were victimized. They did not “ask” for it by their behavior or what they were doing.
In Society’s attempt to rationalize why someone would do such horrible things it has wrongly placed that blame on the victim. Society thinks no one would be so evil, therefore, there must be some reason; there must have been something the victim did to elicit such a thing. That “something” has spawned into: it must have been what they were wearing; they were drunk and asking for it; everyone knows they sleep around and are a slut; you should see the way they always flirt with everyone. The list goes on and on. What Society is missing is placing the blame on the one person to whom it belongs to…the offender. The Offender is the sole person responsible for their actions.
Instead of asking if the victim must have “asked” for it, why not ask what is wrong with the offender that they would do such a despicable thing, and how can we further protect society from this predator. Those are the real questions that need to be asked.
This year Denim Day will be held on April 24, 2019.
Denim Day’s website has a good article on some misconceptions about sexual assault. You can read it here.