In 1999, a case in Italy came to worldwide attention when a young woman accused her 45-year-old driving instructor of brutally raping her during a driving lesson. He was sentenced to 34-months in prison before the case made its way to the Italian high court, where the sentence was overturned. The Chief Judge released a statement arguing that because the victim wore tight jeans, he assumed that she must have helped her perpetrator remove her jeans and, therefore, consented. Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans on the steps of the Italian Parliament building. This was the beginning of what has become a worldwide event and movement to wear jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
Since 2013, the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) has hosted Colorado Denim Day in order to raise awareness about sexual assault, show support for survivors, and unite communities across Colorado in taking a stand against sexual violence. Colorado Denim Day is our statewide event aligning with Denim Day events across the world on a Wednesday in April.