Denim Day

Denim Day Header

Denim Day – April 29, 2015

In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month each April,  SafePlace asks businesses, organizations and individuals to wear denim in support of sexual assault survivors and to raise awareness about sexual assault misconceptions.

This year, we’re also participating in the nationwide Start By Believing campaign to bring greater awareness to the role we all have to play in stopping sexual assault. Learn more about this campaign.

Why Denim?

In 1998, a teenage girl in Italy was raped by her driving instructor.  The girl was held down on the ground by the instructor and was threatened with harm to herself and her brothers.  He was tried and convicted and sentenced to jail, and his case went to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Rome.  The court overturned the original ruling stating that because the victim wore very tight jeans she must have had to help remove them, thereby giving consent to have sex.

The case made international headlines and the young woman’s jeans became a symbol of the many misconceptions still surrounding sexual violence, such as there is a “correct” way for someone to respond during an assault and what someone wears can be an excuse for rape.

SafePlace brought the call to action to Austin in 2008 and since then thousands of Austin area employees have joined others across the world in wearing denim on this day.

Learn more about the case behind the movement. Sex, Lies, and Honor in Italian Rape Law, a study published in the Suffolk Law Review in 2005. (with cited sources and more information about the case and the judgement beginning on page 20)

Commit to ending sexual violence in our community

Be a Courageous Bystander:

  • Speak up when you hear threatening language.
  • Hold people accountable for their actions.
  • Respectfully challenge comments that degrade women.

Make sure your workplace has policies to support/protect staff:

  • Ask your employer to invite a speaker from SafePlace.
  • Have SafePlace set up an information booth.
  • Request brochures and palm cards to display for employees and clients.

Share what you can:

Learn more about sexual assault, SafePlace and how to get involved:

Let others know their safety is important:

  • Make sure others know they can come to you for confidential help.
  • Share the SafePlace 24-hour hotline, 512.267.SAFE (7233); you never know who you will help.
  • Know what resources are available in Austin and be able to share them with others.
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