As part of our ongoing commitment to end violence against women, YWCA Brooklyn participated in Denim Day activism on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. We wore jeans in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and in remembrance of a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.
A press conference was held at Brooklyn Borough Hall, where YWCA Brooklyn CEO and President Martha Kamber spoke about YWCA’s mission to end violence against Women. A YWCA Brooklyn group gathered at the press conference, which was the starting point for the BK Style Denim Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
The BK Walk ended at Foley Square in lower Manhattan where survivors, students, performers, elected officials and other advocates held a rally. Wearing denim on this day each April helps to draw awareness to the occurrences of rape and sexual assault that take place each year and to the fact that these crimes are the most under reported.
Background on Denim Day
For the past 18 years, Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, 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. This year’s Denim Day is April 26, 2017. (http://denimdayinfo.org/