Denim Day at Rio Hondo

Trail and Verdict

Since 1999, there has been running an encouraging and impactful chance to demonstrate solidarity and support for survivors of sexual abuse by Peace Over Abuse. They do this by affirming commitment to exposing destructive habits and attitudes surrounding sexual violence. This opportunity has been known as the Survivors’ Day of Action.

A campaign called “Denim Day” is held on the third Wednesday of every April in recognition of “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” The movement started when the Italian Supreme Court issued a judgment that reversed a rape conviction. The judges on the court reasoned that since the victim was wearing tight jeans. They believed that she must have assisted the person who raped her in removing her pants. This suggests that she consented to be raped.

The Movement Begins

Afterward, in an act of solidarity with the victim, the women of the Italian Parliament showed up for work wearing jeans. Peace Over Violence launched the first Denimen Day as a direct reaction to this case and the movement that surrounded it.

Moreover, since then there has been a local effort to raise awareness of victim blaming. Damaging misconceptions surrounding sexual violence have developed into a movement. Undeniably, the goal of the first campaign was to call attention to the issue of sexual assault. Denim Day is the prevention and education campaign that has been running the longest in the history of the fight against sexual violence. On this day, community members, elected officials, businesses, and students make a social statement with their fashion statement. This is done by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.

Additionally, a similar story happened when a similar ruling was made by a judge against a woman since they were wearing red underwear.

Rio Hondo held an exhibit for this event in the lower quad. They had booths for domestic violence, LGBT issues, and sexual health resources from the school. Furthermore, Rio Hondo also had a place for students to create art. The art includes writing or drawing inspirational messages to those who are currently unable to leave domestic/ sexual violence.

All in all, the most important thing to gain is that no one “asks for it”. It is important that we talk about consent and what it means to each person. Sexual Assault is something that should never be taken lightly. Having crucial conversations and topics being discussed is vital.