Persons urged to wear denim on April 24 to show support for survivors of sexual assault


See full statement from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security: 

As Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) winds down communities around the world are gearing up to observe Denim Day on April 24th, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence and challenging victim-blaming attitudes.

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, through its Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Policy Unit, encourages individuals to wear denim to show their support for survivors of sexual assault and to challenge the harmful myths and misconceptions that perpetuate victim blaming. By wearing denim, we send a clear message that no survivor should ever be blamed for the violence they have experienced.

Dr. Cona Husbands, head of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit at the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, emphasizes the significance of Denim Day in combatting sexual violence: “Denim Day serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing fight against sexual assault and the importance of supporting survivors. By wearing denim on this day, we demonstrate our commitment to ending victim blaming and creating a culture of empathy and understanding.”

Denim Day originated in Italy in 1998 as a response to a shocking court decision that overturned a rape conviction based on the victim’s clothing. Now, 25 years later, Denim Day continues to serve as a powerful symbol of solidarity and resistance against sexual violence.

The history behind Denim Day is a stark reminder of the importance of speaking out against injustice. In 1992, in Muro Lucano, Italy, an 18-year-old girl was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor during her first lesson. Despite the perpetrator’s initial conviction, the Italian Supreme Court later overturned the ruling, citing the victim’s tight jeans as evidence of consent. This appalling decision sparked outrage and led to the first Denim Day protest in Italy, where women wore jeans to work in solidarity with the survivor.

Dr. Husbands encouraged individuals and groups to post their photos in their denim showing solidarity and tag the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security using the hashtag #EndGVB #SAAM #DenimDay