A Message About Denim Day 2018
Denim Day began in 1999 in a small park in downtown LA as a response to the myths and lies prevalent about rape. Initially conceived as a symbolic protest after an Italian Supreme Court Judge overturned a lower court’s rape conviction because “the victim was wearing tight jeans,” Denim Day grew into a national and international campaign. Denim Day is now recognized as a widespread national and international awareness movement. What began as grassroots organizing rally is now an open-source campaign where anyone can access resources and information, download toolkits and fliers and order materials to create Denim Days in their own communities across the globe.
On Denim Day, people wear jeans on purpose to protest the myths surrounding sexual violence in all its forms and to signal their support for survivors. Denim Day is now observed across the U.S. from LA to NYC, in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Each year, in the spirit of the very first Denim Day, supporters organize activities for their corporations, government agencies, military bases, high school and college campuses thereby creating a true people’s campaign to spread sexual assault awareness and education. Denim Day along with many other initiatives like V-Day and Take Back The Night paved the way for the current #metoo.
In 2014, Peace Over Violence partnered with GUESS? as the official fashion sponsor of Denim Day. GUESS? was the first major corporation and still one of the few to take on sexual assault in such a public way. Over four years, GUESS? amplified the Denim Day message and solidified its international reach - including bringing Denim Day to the country that inspired it, Italy. POV has now parted ways with GUESS, and they are no longer the official fashion sponsor for the Denim Day campaign; we appreciate all that they contributed to its success and growth. Through new and innovative partnerships we will continue to build and expand Denim Day all over the world.
For Denim Day 2018, we’ve expanded our signature message there is no excuse and never an invitation to rape to include harassment and abuse. “THERE IS NO EXCUSE AND NEVER AN INVITATION TO HARASS, ASSAULT, ABUSE, RAPE” conveys that sexual harassment is on the continuum of violence. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, traumatizing and unfair. It is also the testing ground for grooming for further sexual violence. This is a message that is needed now more than ever. We are calling upon you and counting on you to make a social statement with your fashion statement and support and participate in Denim Day on April 25 th . Join us in spreading the message, educating yourself and others and wear denim to support survivors everywhere and to end sexual violence. Together we can change the attitudes and culture that enable abuse.
POV Executive Director and Founder of Denim Day