It’s been over 17 years since the day when Peace Over Violence, a non-profit, multi-cultural, feminist, community-based volunteer organization started a campaign that takes place on a Wednesday in April every year.
The campaign, “Denim Day” in the honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month, can be used as a perfect excuse to take a break from your work clothes and bring out your old denims.
This year, 27th April will be celebrated as Denim Day.
1992 Italy: An 18-year old was raped by her 45-year old married driving instructor on an isolated road. When presses were charged, the instructor was convicted of rape and assault. Surprisingly, the conviction was appealed and within a matter of days the case against him is overturned and dismissed with him being released. Reason being, 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.”
As a response to this, all the enraged women in the Italian Parliament came up with a plan of wearing jeans to work to show their lack of agreement with the government’s decision.
The Guess? Venture:
Since 2014, Guess? Inc. and Peace Over violence have joined hands to spread awareness about Denim Day. More than 400 stores under the GUESS?, Inc. umbrella across North America participated in Denim Day with messaging in store front windows, in-store signage, email marketing, mobile marketing, social media posts and in-store pledge books that invited shoppers to join the movement by signing their name to commit to wearing jeans on Denim Day to raise awareness around violence issues and to show support for survivors.
With the help of Guess foundation, Europe celebrated its first Denim Day in May 2015 in Italy.
Although there have been many campaigns in India against rape and sexual assault like “No Country For Women”, that was started by two women from Brown University and “Her Voice” a campaign to tackle India’s rape culture, the success of these campaigns is quite low when the rural and smaller Indian towns are concerned.
If a campaign that requires people to do something minimal (like in this case just wearing or donating denim), the chances of campaign becoming successful and the number of participating increases which would later result in higher awareness generated amongst people.
So here’s hoping that this day will be celebrated in India soon. Because “THERE IS NO EXCUSE AND NEVER AN INVITATION TO RAPE”.
To know more, visit http://denimdayinfo.org
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.