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Denim Day

What is Denim Day?

Denim Day has been internationally celebrated since 1999 in protest of an Italian High Court ruling that overturned the conviction of a 45 year-old driving instructor who raped his 18 year-old student. The Court ruled she was wearing “very, very tight jeans” and that removing tight fitting jeans could not be possible if the victim were struggling; therefore the victim must have assisted the attacker in removing her jeans, which they felt implied consent.

Enraged by the verdict, women of the Italian Legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans to work. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest, and the movement has grown into an international sexual assault prevention and education campaign.

In Wisconsin, Denim Day inspired a coalition of organizations, including Aurora Health Care, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault to promote a series of events each April that encourage people to wear jeans to work on Denim Day, and organize events that bring awareness to the problem of blaming victims.

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