Friday, April 20, 2012

This Definitely Isn’t Casual Dress Friday

Next Friday, April 27 all over the world people wear jeans to work in recognition of Denim Day. They’re not paying tribute to Levi Strauss or enjoying a dress-down Friday; they’re taking a stand against sexual violence.

Here’s the story:

In 1988 in Italy, a teenaged girl was picked up by her 45 year old, married driving instructor for her very first driving lesson. He drove her to an isolated road, dragged her out of the car and pinned her to the ground.  As she fought him off, he got one leg out of her jeans and raped her…then made her get back into the car and drive home. He threatened her life if she told anyone. She had the courage to tell her parents and report the rape to the police. The driving instructor was arrested, convicted and sent to prison.

He appealed the decision and a male Supreme Court judge overturned the conviction reasoning, “…because the victim 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.”

This decision enraged the public.  Women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans to work the next day to express their outrage. More than two decades have passed… but, sadly, sexual assault victims still encounter stigma and victim-blaming.   

Please take a stand to raise awareness about sexual violence on April 27th, 2012. Wear jeans and something teal  (e.g. a t-shirt or scarf) to support survivors and rally against sexual violence in our community. 

Send pictures of your group to dvrc@crisny.org as we recognize on our website our community partners who are taking a stand (in denim) to end sexual violence.


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