While this day is named after jeans, it’s actually much more important than simply celebrating a style of clothing. Denim Day is here to show support, care and allyship for those who have experienced sexual assault, as well as to raise awareness and stand up against sexual violence.
History of Denim Day
Associated with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this day offers a specific time for bringing a united voice against the sexual violence that continues to be so prevalent in the culture.
Denim Day was founded by the Peace Over Violence movement that has been running since 1999. The organization was formed as a response to a Supreme Court case in Italy when a rape conviction was overturned because the woman was wearing tight jeans. The justices assumed the victim must have helped the man remove her jeans, which they said implied consent – sometimes called “the jeans alibi”. Enraged by this verdict, the following day, the women in the Italian Parliament showed up at work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim whose case was overturned.
For more than twenty years, Denim Day has been observed on a Wednesday in April to bring awareness to the problem of victim blaming, asking individuals, companies, elected officials and others to wear denim to work on this day as a form of protest against the misconceptions that are often associated with sexual violence.
How to Celebrate Denim Day
Take a stand and make a difference by observing Denim Day with some of these important actions and activities:
Those who are interested in standing in solidarity can do so by not only wearing jeans on this day but also talking about it in the local community as well as on social media. Posts can make use of the Denim Day theme: “There is no excuse and never an invitation to rape.”
Those who want to not only wear denim on this day but make a statement about it on a larger scale can get access to resources and tools on the Denim Day website.
Take the Denim Day Pledge
The Denim Day Pledge committed to support survivors, become more educated, challenge misconceptions, be an ally with other violence prevention movements and wear denim as a social/fashion statement on Denim Day. People who want to put their name on the list in support can sign their name to the pledge on the website.
Host a Denim Day Fundraising Event
Make an impact in supporting the cause of healing services and violence prevention by getting the community together to raise some funds. This kind of Denim Day activity could come in all sorts of forms, including something as simple as asking folks at work to wear denim and make a $5 donation on the day, to putting on a run/walk to hosting a gala event where everyone dresses up in fancy denim!
Get creative and engage the community in observance of this important day. Check out the Denim Day website to find out more about fundraising for the cause.