Join Peace Over Violence along with Mayor Eric Garcetti, as we observe the 19th year of Denim Day, on April 25, 2018. Denim Day, the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign, reaffirms its support for survivors of all forms of sexual violence, aligning with the efforts and voices of #metoo and #TIMESUP.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Los Angeles City Hall, South Lawn
200 N. Spring St. Los Angles, CA 90012
(Facing 1st St. between Spring and Main)
+Maya Jupiter and Aloe Blacc, Denim Day Spokescouple
+Patti Giggans, executive director of POV and founder of Denim Day
+Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles
+Danah Cleaton, Survivor, Denim Day Campaign Poster Model
+Yesika Salgado, Poet
+Priya Swaminathan, Interim Executive Director TIME’S UP Entertainment
+Stephanie Wiggins, Deputy CEO of LA Metro
+Alexis, Youth Over Violence Leader, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
+Rashad Beal, Schools Over Violence Program Manager, Spoken Word
+Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Director of the Institute for Nonviolence
+Councilwoman Nury Martinez, Los Angeles City Council
+Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, Los Angeles City Council
Over the past year the issue of sexual violence and its pervasiveness has inundated mainstream media and headlines as hundreds of survivors have come forward to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. But, headlines will not end sexual violence – only action will. Peace Over Violence has been at the forefront of naming, intervening and preventing sexual violence since 1971, the early days of the anti-rape movement. For the past nineteen years, this work was amplified thanks to our Denim Day campaign, raising awareness and dispelling myths about sexual violence, harassment, assault and rape, everywhere.
Our annual Denim Day is now a well established national and international sexual violence prevention and education campaign with individuals wearing jeans on a designated day to symbolize this effort. Last year, over 2,000,000 individuals, 400 organizations, 100 businesses, 130 schools, representatives from all 50 states and 118 countries, participated in Denim Day.
This year’s Denim Day is April 25, 2018.
BY PARTICIPATING IN DENIM DAY, YOU:
• Send a message to survivors that you support them in their healing
• Commit to becoming more educated
• Break the silence surrounding sexual violence
For the past 19 years, Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
An 18-year old girl is picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her. Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home. Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.
He appeals the sentence. 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. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “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, within a matter of hours the 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 LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since.
Since 1999, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes toward sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign, we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
As the flagship city of this international campaign, Denim Day will once again be declared throughout the city and county of Los Angeles, with events happening on campuses, in workplaces and at many sites throughout the region. With the support of Denim Day Spokes couple Maya Jupiter and Aloe Blacc, as well as many partners and collaborators across the country, Giggans promises this year to be, “the most successful and influential yet.”