Today is Denim Day, a day to raise awareness about sexual assault and rape prevention education.
Denim Day has been recognized since 1999 in protest of a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court to overturn a rape conviction. The victim had been wearing jeans at the time of her attack and the court ruled she must have consented because she would have had to remove her tight pants. Women in the Italian Legislature were the first to wear jeans in protest and Denim Day eventually became a global movement.
Denim Day reminds us how important education, understanding and awareness are with regards to sexual assault. Ms. magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundations have launched a campaign, “Rape is Rape,” asking the FBI to change the definition of rape to accurately reflect the crime. The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), tracks “forcible rape” in the statistics it collects on violent crimes. And the UCR defines forcible rape as, “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.” Click here to sign on to the campaign.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every two minutes and approximately two-thirds of the assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. And sadly, victim-blaming is still prevalent.