Employees at Humboldt General Hospital will don their denim this week as
a show of support against sexual assault.
The group will participate in Denim Day, an annual campaign that is held
internationally each April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
The rape prevention education campaign asks community members, elected
officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their
fashion by wearing jeans on Denim Day as a visible means of protest against
the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
This year’s Denim Day is April 26, 2017.
Demin Day began in the 1990s in Italy after an 18-year old girl was taken
by her 45-year-old driving instructor to an isolated road where she was
forcibly raped. The man threatened to kill the girl if she told anyone.
However, later that night, the girl told her parents, who helped and supported
her as she pressed charges. The man was subsequently arrested and convicted of rape.
The man appealed the conviction and the case made it all the way to the
Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving
instructor was overturned. In a statement, the Chief Judge argued that
“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
Within a matter of hours enraged women in the Italian Parliament launched
into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call
to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly
to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director
of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in Los Angeles was born.
That was in 1999 and the observance has continued every year since, including
in Nevada where the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence leads statewide
efforts, and Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services oversees local efforts.