Denim Day Celebration in April Brings Sexual Assault Awareness to BCCHS

Wear denim jeans to protest sexual assault

Wear denim jeans to protest sexual assault

Rhodes Ngabirano, Staff Writer

Denim Day is nationally observed and celebrated on the last Wednesday of the month of April, which was on April 27 this year. Denim Day started in Los Angeles with Patti Giggans, who led a nonprofit organization located in Los Angeles that organized the first Denim Day in 1999.

The story behind Denim Day is that it started in Italy in 1998 with a Supreme Court case in which a rape accusation was overturned because the victim was wearing tight jeans.

Denim Day

This happened in 1992 when an 18-year-old girl was taken to an isolated road during her first driving lesson and was raped by a 45-year-old male driving instructor. This was reported and the driving instructor was arrested and jailed, but years after his conviction, he appealed and claimed that the incident was consensual and not rape. His argument was that her jeans were too tight for him to be able to single-handedly take the jeans off her body, which in his mind was a claim that proved that she helped him take her jeans off during this “consensual” act. That was enough to get him his freedom and resulted in the case being overturned.

This court decision outraged women in Itay and drove them to start a protest where they wore jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court. This got worldwide attention and inspired the Los Angeles Denim Day, which takes place yearly.

Thread of encouraging notes at BCCHS

Birmingham Community Charter High School held an ASB-organized Denim Day celebration at the Quad where students wrote nice/encouraging messages for people who may have experienced any form of sexual assault.

This was important for the goal of making students feel safe and protected and seen at school–which is important for the building of a safe school environment.

The BCCHS Feminist Club also played a big role in the Denim Day celebration. The feminist club posted a google doc. form that is fully confidential and allowed anyone who needs to get something off their chest about their personal experience or maybe another person’s experience with sexual assault.

With permission, the feminist club was able to post some stories that were under the hashtag #BCCHS_SPEAKSOUT, and that bought awareness to the issue of sexual assault and how it can affect a person. The form is still available at feminist.bcchs on Instagram.