What is the significance of wearing denim on Wednesday, April 24? By wearing denim on that day, you will be visibly supporting survivors of sexual assault. Denim Day is an international day of awareness that highlights the importance of believing survivors and stopping victim blaming.
In the late 1990s, an 18-year-old woman was picked up by her male driving instructor, taken to an isolated area and forcefully raped. He was initially arrested, convicted and sentenced to prison. When he appealed, his conviction was overturned because the justices felt that because the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped him remove them, implying consent. Enraged by this verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans to work in solidarity with the victim. As news of the decision spread, so did the protests. In 1999, an agency in Los Angeles, CA established the first Denim Day in the U.S.—a tradition that has grown.
Unfortunately, victim blaming is not a thing of the past. Last year, a 17-year-old Irish girl was raped and in trial, the defense used the cut of her underwear as an argument for consent. The man was acquitted, sparking international outrage.
How can you personally combat victim blaming culture? By participating in Denim Day this year. Every year, the WCA offers many opportunities to get involved with Denim Day individually or with a group of people. Here are some ways to participate in Denim Day this year:
- Wear denim on Wednesday April 24, 2019. Denim not acceptable for work? No problem. Wear a free Denim Day sticker or ribbon, get your materials here!
- Post photos of you and your friends, family or coworkers wearing denim using the hashtags #DenimDay and #WCABoise.
- Have ribbons, stickers and postcards available to start a conversation about the purpose of Denim Day, order your materials here by April 19!
- Host an awareness campaign or fundraising event or find another way to get involved here.
As with most awareness campaigns, education is key. Talk to your friends, family and coworkers about the issue of sexual assault and victim blaming. The more people talk about these issues, the more people know that sexual assault and victim blaming is never okay.
Join us and help spread the word of the immediacy and reality of these problems in our community. Your support starts the conversations that allow us to create lasting change.
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