Make a Statement With Your Jeans on Denim Day
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault happens in every community, including this one. Most survivors know their perpetrator and about 70% of female survivors of sexual assault or rape state the offender was an intimate partner, other relative, friend, or acquaintance. This includes classmates, coworkers, dates, neighbors, caretakers, family members, husbands, boyfriends and partners.
April 26 is Denim Day, when millions of people across the world wear jeans with a purpose, to support survivors, and educate themselves and others about all forms of sexual violence. The campaign started in the late 1990s after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the perpetrator remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.
This April 26, you and your colleagues can make a social statement by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. What we wear is never an invitation to rape.
A common myth is that women “ask” to be raped because of how they dress or act. Rape does not happen in response to provocative clothing or behavior. Rape happens because the perpetrator decides that their need for power over the victim is more important than the victim’s rights. It is a form of aggression and violence that no person deserves.
For more information about Denim Day (including flyers or buttons) or Sexual Assault Awareness Month, contact Hope House. Hope House provides support to victims of domestic and sexual abuse along with education to help prevent the violence; in Sauk, Columbia, Adams, Marquette and Juneau Counties. Our helpline is available 24/7 at 1–800–584–6790 or visit us on the web at HopeHouseSCW.org
- Deb Bauer
Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator
Hope House of South Central Wisconsin