April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and April 25 is Denim Day. Why denim? In the late 1990’s, an 18-year-old girl in Rome was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor, who was convicted. However, when the perpetrator appealed the sentence, his case went to the Italian Supreme Court and was overturned. The presiding judge argued that because the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her perpetrator remove her jeans and, therefore, consented to the rape. Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans on the steps of Parliament. This was the beginning of Denim Day, a worldwide event to wear jeans as a visible means of protest against the destructive misconceptions that surround sexual assault. One in five women and one in 16 men have been raped and every 98 seconds someone in this country is sexually assaulted. Every 8 minutes that victim is a child. Yet only six out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. Time’s up! This is not acceptable!
Response works to support, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in our community. If you or someone you know is in need of support call Response at 970-925-SAFE (7233). Our services are free, confidential and non-judgmental.
If you agree with us that it is time to put an end to sexual assault, wear denim on April 25 and go to our website www.responsehelps.org to learn more or make a donation.
Shannon Meyer, Aspen