Press "Enter" to skip to content

It's Denim Day around the world. Here's how SoCal is Commemorating

Elected officials, survivors of sexual violence and supporters of victims of sexual assault are expected today to recognize Denim Day 2024 and the 25th anniversary of the sexual violence prevention and education campaign.

Denim Day, which evolved from a local grassroots action in Los Angeles to a worldwide movement in 1999, was started in response to an Italian Supreme Court verdict that sparked international outrage when judges overturned a rapist’s conviction, arguing that because the victim wore tight jeans, she must have helped her attacker remove them, implying consent.

The spontaneous protest following that verdict has grown into an international movement for awareness and support for survivors of rape and sexual violence, shepherded by Peace Over Violence.

Denim Day is traditionally on the last Wednesday of April as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Communities throughout Southern California are participating in Denim Day by wearing jeans and denim to show solidarity with victims of sexual assault. Pasadena city officials and employees are encouraged to wear denim jeans to show their support.

“Join us in recognizing Denim Day this Wednesday, April 24, by wearing denim and sharing the importance of this day of action,” the City of Pasadena said in a statement on social media.

Patti Giggans, Denim Day founder and chief executive officer for Peace Over Violence, attended Denim Day at City Hall in 2023. The sexual and domestic violence prevention center is headquartered in Los Angeles.

“The first Denim Day was here in Los Angeles in 1999, the year of the infamous Italian court case,” Giggans said last year at Los Angeles City Hall. “Over the years, it has grown to reach millions of individuals worldwide.”

Over half of all women and almost one in three men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. While awareness has increased in the last 25 years, Denim Day 2024 comes at a crucial time as Congress has threatened to cut funding from the Victims of Crimes Act that supports survivors of sexual violence crimes with much needed services, according to Peace Over Violence.

These federal funding cuts are expected to top nearly $700 million, impacting survivors and organizations nationwide.

Los Angeles officials, including Los Angeles County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Lindsey Horvath, city councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez and City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto will lead events at City Hall. Giggans and Rita Garcia, CEO of TransLatin@ Coalition, will also be in attendance.

District Attorney George Gascon, Deputy Mayor of L.A. Brian Williams, Director of the Department of Public Health Barbara Ferrer and former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are expected to provide remarks as well.

The Peace Over Violence resource center provides services and support in the Los Angeles area for survivors of sexual violence. Information, referral and advocacy services are available online at 24 hours daily.

   — Central Los Angeles: 213-626-3393

   — South Los Angeles: 310-392-8381

   — West San Gabriel Valley: 626-793-3385

   — More Resources

   — Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-HOPE (4673)

   — National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)

Source: NBC Los Angeles

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *