Denim Day is sponsored by CARE and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) to enlist public support to dispel harmful attitudes about rape.
The Denim Day campaign began in 1999 with CALCASA and LACAAW, the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, as part of an international protest of an Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. The Italian Supreme Court dismissed charges against a 45-year old rape suspect because his 18-year-old victim was wearing jeans at the time of the attack. The Head Judge 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." The judgment sparked a worldwide outcry from those who understand coercion, threats and violence go along with the act of rape. Each year we host Denim Day to honor this survivor and all survivors who have experienced victim blaming. Denim Day is a symbol of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
How to show your support
Denim Day is an outward example of how a community can help change people's perceptions about violence against women, men and children. Please support us by:
- Wearing denim on Denim Day on April 26, 2017
- Wearing the "Why Denim?" button available through CARE. (Call CARE for buttons; limited supply available).
- Talking about the court case and other harmful myths that exist about sexual assault.
We salute all of you willing to join us in the fight for a safer community for all people. Please contact CARE at 949-824-7273 if you have any additional questions or would like more information on this or future programs.
Each year, staff groups and departments around UCI participate in a Denim Day photo contest to promote awareness on campus. The winner, chosen by CARE staff and student interns, gets a Pizza Party. Photos are judged based on creativity, originality, capturing the spirit of the challenge, and demonstrating awareness of the purpose of Denim Day.
Check back for details of the 2017 Denim Day Photo Contest.
To see all the Denim Day photos, please visit the CARE Facebook page.