‘Denim Day’ Honors Sexual Assault Survivors

Legislative Gazette photo by Rikun Zhu

In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, New York State is using the last Wednesday of April  — April 26 — to recognize Denim Day, which was created in 1999. It began when a young woman in Italy was denied justice after the Italian Supreme Court stated that since “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.” 

It outraged female members of Parliament, and the outrage spread worldwide. 

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, in partnership with the state Office of General Services, is recognising Denim Day in a variety of ways; an installation in the Empire State Plaza Concourse, a Twitter Q&A on Tuesday with Department of Health and OPDV, as well as lighting state monuments teal on Wednesday the 26th. Teal has been chosen as the color to represent Sexual Assault Awareness month.

These initiatives have the full support of Gov. Kathy Hochul, who released a proclamation on March 28 declaring April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month in New York. 

In the Empire State Plaza Concourse, the installation includes dozens of pairs of jeans displayed on clotheslines throughout the concourse, in between posts. There are also placards highlighting providers of care for those who have been affected by sexual assault, as well as survivors willing to share their stories. Those will be displayed through Thursday, April 27. 

Those interested in more information can go to opdv.ny.gov, and follow @NYSOPDV on Twitter.