Denim Day a simple way to bring up a serious conversation

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018

On Saturday, Harmony House held the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event to raise money for its sexual assault awareness program.

The event was part of the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.

LaGrange College’s clinical mental health program helped create the event, and student Kaylee Bebee said the walk was a fun way to start a serious conversation.

The event also promoted Denim Day on Wednesday.

Denim Day started after 18-year-old female was allegedly raped by her driving instructor in Italy in the 1990s. The victim told her parents what happened, and the driver instructor was arrested and prosecuted.

He appealed the sentence and went to the Italian Supreme Court. The court overturned the rape conviction because the victim’s jeans were tight, implying that she must have helped take them off, and it was consensual.

The day after the verdict, women in the Italian Parliament went to work wearing jeans to show solidarity with the victim. Since then, Denim Day has been held on a Wednesday in April for Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

Denim Day is another way to bring up a serious topic while not being heavy-handed. Wearing jeans, a denim jacket or shorts are a subtle way to acknowledge that rape, sexual assault and gender violence happens and to support victims.

According to the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault, one in three girls and one in six boys are sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Seventy-three percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, according to the network.

Wearing jeans today is a simple way to send a message about supporting victims of sexual assault.