One Small Day Making a Big Difference

As collegiate women, we have all probably been in one or more situations with the opposite sex where we have felt uncomfortable or even uneasy. Whether this creepy feeling comes from an inappropriate catcall, an overzealous boy getting you to drink a little too much, or even an actual sexual attack: these things DO happen and we have to band together to make them stop.

That is what national Denim Day is all about. It is a day for women (and men, too!) to band together to create awareness about sexual assault. If you saw an unusual amount of blue jeans on April 23, this is the reason why.

Denim may seem like a strange way to support this cause, but it actually originates from an event that happened in Italy in the 1990’s.

An 18-year-old girl was assaulted and raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor. She was wearing tight, blue, denim jeans at the time. He was arrested and prosecuted, but later appealed his punishment. The case made it all the way up to the Italian Supreme Court, where eventually it was dismissed and the man walked free. The chief judge said he made this decision because “the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex,” he said.

Obviously upset about the verdict implying the young girl asked for it, the women of the Italian Parliament wore jeans to work to protest the verdict, and voila, denim day was born.

Years later, sexual assault is still prevalent in women’s lives, especially collegiate women. According to

3.3% of ASU female students reported that they have experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault in the past year.

7% of ASU females reported that they have experienced sexual touching against their will.

And according to

1 in 5 women said they have been raped.

Half of female sexual assault victims were raped before the age of 18.

Let’s ban together and makes these scary statistics and numbers go down. It can happen to anyone, no matter the situation. So although national denim day has passed, April is National Sexual Violence Awareness Month. So sit down and talk to your friends, family, boyfriends, husbands, and more about why education and awareness on this issue is SO important to us women!