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TW/CW: This article deals with topics of sexual assault. 

 

    1992, Italy: For her very first driving lesson, an 18-year old girl is picked up by her 45-year old married male driving instructor. He takes her to an empty road, gets her out of the car, forcefully removes one leg out of her jeans, and rapes her. Afterwards, he makes her drive back home and threatens to kill her if she mentions the incident. She tells her parents that night, who support her and aid her in pressing charges. The instructor is arrested and prosecuted, convicted of rape, and sentenced to jail. 

Years later, he appeals the sentence, and the case ends up making its way to the Italian Supreme Court, where, within the span of a few days, the case is overturned, dismissed, and the instructor is released from jail. The argument by the Chief Judge read “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.” This became known as the “jeans alibi” throughout Italy. 

    The verdict caused an outcry among women in the Italian Parliament, and by the next day, they had taken immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This act of protest was captured by the international media, and it inspired the California Senate and Assembly to do the same on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento. Eventually, it made its way to Patricia Giggans, the Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, a “nonprofit 501c3, multicultural, community based and volunteer centered organization dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence” based in Los Angeles. Seeing this on the media, she believed everyone should be participating in the act of protest. Denim Day in L.A was then born in April, 1999. Starting as a local campaign to bring awareness, Denim Day slowly grew into a movement and is “the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history.

    Denim Day takes place on the last Wednesday of April, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It encourages people to wear denim to symbolize the movement against victim-blaming, raise awareness against common myths regarding sexual assault, and educate others on the topic. 

    Denim Day this year takes place on April 28, 2021. Join us (@HerCampusDePaul) on Twitter and Instagram to see our members participating and tag us in your fashion statements. Together, we can use this day to work towards a better future for survivors. 

    

Hi! I'm Eiman and this is my first year at DePaul and the HC team! I have a passion for the communications field-- specifically journalism, and media, and I plan on pursuing a bachelors in communications and media. I love reading, writing, baking, cooking, hanging out with my friends, watching TV, and exploring new places!
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