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Freedom from Sexual Violence

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Why We Celebrate Denim Day and You Should, Too

Why We Celebrate Denim Day and You Should, Too

By Joyce Aubrey, CCASA Board Member & CCASA Guest Blogger

CCASA Board and Staff invite you to join us in wearing jeans on April 29th to raise awareness and educate the public about rape and sexual assault.

Pondering my own fascination with denim, I delved into its history. Denim, jeans, and Levi’s have become synonymous terms in modern day vernacular. In 1969 a writer for American Fabrics magazine declared, “Denim is one of the world’s oldest fabrics, yet it remains eternally young.” Denim is more than just a cotton fabric; it inspires strong opinions within the hearts of designers, teens, movie stars, reporters, and writers. The magazine American Fabrics also stated, “If we were to use a human term to describe a textile we might say that denim is an honest fabric substantial, forthright, and unpretentious.” The long history and continuing popularity of this sturdy textile contribute to the success of our Denim Day campaign.

We tap into this tradition of passion for denim by celebrating Denim Day and calling attention to myths surrounding sexual assault. What a fascinating phenomenon that today, throughout the world, we use this honest, substantial and unpretentious textile to call attention to myths surrounding all forms of sexual violence. Like many profound situations in life, this global tradition of wearing denim the last Wednesday in April is built upon paradox.

Ladies in the Italian parliament wore denim and carried placards declaring: jeans, a rape alibi, to express their outrage when the Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans and must have helped the rapist to remove her jeans, thus demonstrating consent. This official action that ignored coercion and appeared to grant leniency to a rapist, instead started a global movement of proportions that couldn’t have been anticipated. The paradox is that this action provided a reason for women throughout the world to unite around a cause that calls attention to myths about this violent crime. Indeed, throughout the world we can thank that court for starting a movement we celebrate on April 29, 2015.

In Colorado we invite social groups, civic clubs, individuals and corporations to participate in Denim Day by wearing denim on Wednesday April 29th and have each individual contribute $5 to CCASA to support the state-wide programs that are critical in supporting survivors of sexual violence and holding offenders accountable.

I know what I’ll be wearing on Denim Day, how about you?

Image credit: http://nomore.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/denim-day-2015.png

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