Wear denim Wed., April 26 in honor of Denim Day during Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Stop by Farinon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to pick up SAAM items, Denim Day giveaways, and learn more about the ways that Lafayette is supporting survivors.

Denim Day is a national day organized by Peace Over Violence where individuals can wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about sexual assault.

The day began over 20 years ago as a form of protest to a court ruling in Italy. It was 1997 in Rome, Italy, when a 16-year-old-girl was picked up by her 45-year-old driving instructor for her first driving lesson. During this time, she was sexually assaulted by her instructor; he abandoned her in an alley, and she was forced to make the trek back home. Without hesitation, she reported the assault and the case was prosecuted. The instructor was convicted of this sexual assault and was sentenced to time in jail. The perpetrator eventually appealed the sentence, making its way all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. The case against the driving instructor was eventually overturned and the perpetrator was released. The reasoning behind the change, cited from a statement released by the Head Judge, is “because the survivor wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing the jean…it was no longer sexual assault but consensual sex.”

Enraged by this reasoning and verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament protested this decision by wearing jeans to work the next day. This call to action motivated the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread across the country. Peace Over Violence organized the first Denim Day in 1999, sparking a national movement and conversation around these victim blaming sentiments.

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