April 26 is a day of protest around the world to support victims of sexual assault.
Wednesday is Denim Day, but this isn't a holiday. Denim Day is a day of protest around the world for women to stand with other women. It's a day to protest sexual assault myths and stereotypes. It falls in April, which also happens to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Denim Day came about from a sexual assault case from Italy that captured the attention of the rest of the world.
An 18-year-old girl was picked up by a driving instructor in 1992 for her first driving lesson. She was taken to an isolated spot on a road and raped, then threatened with death if she told anyone, and made to drive home.
Her rapist was prosecuted and convicted of the assault, but a judge overturned the conviction because she “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.”
According to denimdayinfo.org, “women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.”
“Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault,” Peace Over Violence says on its denimdayinfo.org website.
Good Samaritan Executive Director Suzanne Wilber told the Daily Guide that Good Samaritan supports Denim Day and that the annual event is important.
"The importance (of Denim Day) is to highlight that it's never the victim's fault," Wilber said.
Good Samaritan participates in Denim Day every year and even incorporates the event into activities at it's locations, including its thrift store. Wednesday, on Denim Day, the thrift store will be selling denim buy one get one free and the organization will be giving away Denim Day awareness pins to purchasers. In addition to the pins, purchasers will receive a card explaining Denim Day and the pin's symbolism
The organization encourages women to wear denim on Denim Day and share their reasons for doing so, in order to bring awareness to the issue of victim blaming.
"Regardless of the circumstances, no one asks to be sexually assaulted," Wilber said.