Steps to HOPE observes Denim Day April 25

Published 10:23 am Friday, April 20, 2012

Editor’s note: In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Steps to HOPE has submitted several articles on related topics during April. The following is the third of these articles.
Italy, 1990s.
An 18-year-old girl’s driving instructor takes her to an isolated road on her first lesson, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her. The perpetrator is arrested, prosecuted, convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.
The perpetrator appeals the sentence, and the case makes it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed and the perpetrator released. According to the chief judge, “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.”
Enraged by the verdict, women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, executive director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in L.A. was born in April 1999. Denim Day in L.A. has continued every year since throughout the U.S.
Steps to HOPE invites the community to make a social statement with your fashion statement! Join Steps to HOPE and wear jeans with a purpose on Wednesday, April 25.
For more information call Steps to HOPE at 894-2340.
– article submitted by Debra Backus, Steps to HOPE